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The Ministry of Agriculture last Friday signed close to $500 million in contracts for the supply of various goods and services to advance the work of the sector.
During a simple exercise in the ministry’s main boardroom, six companies signed contracts with the Ministry’s National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA), and Agriculture Sector Development Unit (ASDU). Kascon Engineering Services signed a contract valued $58,880.860 to execute rehabilitation works on the drainage and irrigation channels in Black Bush Polder, Region Six.
Khan’s Construction and Transportation Services Incorporated inked a $27,071,500 contract for the execution of repairs to the intake structure located at Den Amstel, West Coast Demerara, Region Three.
Kallco Guyana Incorporated signed a contract totalling $55,880,620 for the construction of a drainage channel and to activate a new sluice on the right bank of the Abary Creek in Region Five.
Furthermore, as part of ASDU’s Rural Agriculture Infrastructure Development (RAID) Project, two contracts were signed for the supply and delivery of tractors, trailers, and implements to assist with agricultural development in the hinterland. Massy Motors (Guyana) Limited inked a contract for $186,700,000 for the supply of 28 units consisting of tractors and trailers to assist with farm-to-market transport for vulnerable communities in Regions One, Eight, and Nine.
General Equipment Guyana Incorporated also signed a contract totalling $111,443,298 for the supply and delivery of a tractor, a disc plough, two roam ploughs, and three seed planters as part of ASDU’s RAID project.
A contract was also signed with Sheriff Security for the supply of security services for the Ministry, valued $14,227,200. Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha in brief remarks at the signing ceremony said the structures being built are critical to drainage. “Some of the works that will be executed are drainage structures in very vulnerable areas. We are currently experiencing severe flooding across the country because of the excessive rainfall over the last few weeks. These structures that will be constructed in places like Black Bush Polder and Abary Creek are deemed critical and significant,” Minister Mustapha said.
The minister further stated the need for the timely completion of projects. He also said the Ministry has no intention of extending contract periods as it moves towards completing its work programme for 2021. “I want to urge contractors to ensure these works start and finish on time. We will not be extending the time for these contracts…. These works must also be done up to standard and according to the contract specification. The beneficiaries of these goods and services are depending on these projects and equipment and Government will ensure steps are taken to guarantee the effective execution of these programmes. We will not tolerate contractors not fulfilling their contractual obligations. In the past, persons have expressed frustration with the delay in the completion of contracts. Again, I want to make it clear that delays and substandard work will not be tolerated,” he said.
While speaking on the supply of the tractors, Mustapha explained that the equipment being procured would be owned by the Ministry, but under the control of the various villages in the hinterland to enhance their agriculture-related transportation needs.
“Earlier this year, during an outreach to the interior, I made commitments to assist the village economy by providing them with transportation. This year, we’ll be purchasing a number of tractors that will be delivered to several hinterland communities in Regions One, Eight and Nine in an effort to enhance their transportation needs. We’ve commenced consultations to carefully select communities that are most in need of these pieces of equipment. These tractors will be owned, serviced and operated by the NDIA but they will be under the control of the villages. This is a first for the ministry,” Minister Mustapha said.
In May, the ministry signed close to $1 billion in contracts for the execution of several projects to boost the output of the sector. All this is being done while there is no functioning Public Procurement Commission.