A NUMBER of farmers who would have received lands from the former Wales Estate have indicated that they are reaping their harvest since being issued lands last year. This was disclosed by some of the farmers who pursued cash and cattle farming at the estate’s lands.
The farmers noted that the distribution of lands has been a great relief, particularly now that the COVID-19 pandemic is around. It will enable them to provide for their families and respective communities.
One farmer, Dhanpaul Samaroo, who had worked with the sugar estate for several years, revealed that he was disappointed when he lost his job, but upon reflection, he is better off than he was when the estate was functioning.
“The great thing is that I got into farming and maximised the opportunity that was presented to us. When the President said that land was being offered, I decided that, with my love for agriculture, and the fact that I have family to take care of, I was going to apply for some of the land. Today, while many persons have lost their jobs and many more uncertain as to what will happen, I am benefitting in a major way from this very land, as I am feeding my family and my community,” Samaroo said.
The former employee stated that, while there are evident challenges with the current COVID-19 pandemic, he, like many other persons, is seeking to adjust to it.
Nevertheless, he added that farming, and more so agriculture, is one avenue that will help Guyana and the rest of the world to get out of the current economic bind, as a result of the current widespread coronavirus.
“The challenges and difficulties will be significant as we are beginning to see it but what we know is that agriculture is the best way to go,” Samaroo stated.
Another farmer, Mahadeo Deokarran, who has been mobilising villagers and others to aggressively pursue agriculture for years, especially during the current pandemic, revealed that he had been seeking to access the lands since 2012.
He explained that back then the challenges he faced were severe but he persevered and continued farming despite encountering several difficulties.
The farmer further noted that while he does not consider himself a politician, owing to his strong Christian views and beliefs, he is satisfied that the government acted when they did to offer the land to farmers.
“The land was distributed at the right time as today many persons are able to feed, not only themselves and families, but communities and others because food is available in abundance,” he said.
Deokarran noted that such initiatives will assist greatly in advancing and promoting food security. He stressed that he hopes many will capitalise on the opportunities that are available through agriculture.
He noted that there is definite progress being made in strengthening food security, adding that while several sectors will take much longer than others to get back rolling, food production and its benefits will continue to be emphasised in many ways.
Deokarran stated that with the current COVID-19 pandemic ruining a number of Caribbean countries, Guyana should take pride that its opportunities are numerous and should be exploited for revenue generation.
“There are obvious challenges, but, with the increased number of persons that are getting into agricultural activities, our food security, in my mind, remains steadfast and solid. NICIL played a pivotal role when it sought to utilise some of the former sugar lands for agricultural purposes as for that myself and other farmers are thankful,” the man said.
In 2019, the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) had distributed lands to the former workers of the Wales Sugar Estate who wished to pursue agriculture, providing that they had the means to do so.
Source: Guyana Chronicle