Berbice River farmers cash in on flood relief grant

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Scores of farmers along the Berbice River, Region 10 have started to receive the state-funded flood relief cash grant.

Minister of Natural Resources, Vickram Bharrat, MP, on Tuesday spearheaded the disbursement exercise along with Director General of the Agriculture Ministry, Madanlall Ramraj and team, at Tacama.

Farmers from Calcuni, Yaruni, Maria Henriette, Wiruni, Kimbia, Kitupin, Develdt, Cabatli, Ebini Waterfront, Fort Nassau, Kingston, Sands Hill and Moramana received the cash grant.

The term ‘he who feels it, knows it’ says it all for those farmers who depend heavily on farming for a living. However, during the flood a few months ago, waters rose over 10 feet in some areas up the Berbice River.

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Ms. Marlene Rogers of Wikki/Calcuni lost both cash crops and livestock to the flood. Rogers said it was devastating. However, she is optimistic that the monies she received will assist her with starting afresh.

“Thanks to President Ali, we the people of Wikki/Calcuni are very thankful for his gratitude towards us, remembering us in this village. We are so thankful for his help, we are looking out for support for him and we will also support him,” she said.

David Jackson of Moramana said he too was hit hard by the flood and lost almost everything. With farming being his main source of income, he said his children had to assist him financially.

“I glad that I get this money now to buy certain plants because all like the plantain suckers them rotten, eddoes, I never see it happen yet, but it happens now.  Cassava stick, the skin peel off so I glad government help with this lil money and we got to know how to spend it to buy back certain things,” he related.

Frank Gladstone from Kimbia also lost livestock and cash crops to the recent disaster.

“I do a bit of cash crop but I mainly mine cattle and during the rainy weather, I lost a few cows and sheep but I must say thanks to the government for what they have done for us so they could give us this help so we can able to go back and do our work,” Gladstone stated.

Minister Bharrat, addressing the farmers, reminded them that the Government remains concerned about their wellbeing.

“We know that the grant that will be given to you or has been given to you through the Covid grant and other ways of giving out incentives is not to put you back to 100 percent where you were before, but it is to assist you to get there.

“Use the cash grant that you will be given today to restore your farms, your livestock or cattle or whichever the case is, that you go back to some kind of normalcy so that once again, you can start providing for yourself and your family again.”

The cash grant is Government’s way of supporting farmers who suffered losses in the recent countrywide flood. Over $7 billion was set aside for this initiative. ( DPI)



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