September 28, 2016

Region 2 cash crop farmers dumping produce

– cite lack of markets, express frustration

By: Indrawattie Natram

The plummeting economy in Region Two (Pomeroon/Supenaam), compounded by the lack of markets, has left cash-crop farmers with no other choice but to dump their harvest.

A pile of boulanger that is put aside to be dumped

A pile of boulanger that is put aside to be dumped

Peppers that farmers have to dispose of

Peppers that farmers have to dispose of

Speaking with this newspaper Sunday at the Suddie Market, a number of cash-crop farmers expressed frustration over the issue. According to the farmers, crops such as boulanger, pumpkin, calaloo and pepper have to be dumped since the purchasing power of many has been reduced. Many large-scale farmers related that they are frustrated as every day they are reaping crops but when they go to local markets persons are not purchasing.
According to one such farmer of Golden Fleece, Palo (only name given) he returned home with bags of bolangers last Sunday after a meagre amount was sold.                                                                     “We planting and reaping but when we go to the market we don’t make a profit. Plus we have to pack our vehicles and go to Chairty, it’s a costly exercise, nothing selling and you cannot keep the vegetables, they will spoil,” a female vendor Aiesha related.
Cash-crop farmers are experiencing grave financial difficulties and are calling on the Agriculture Ministry for assistance with markets for their produce. Region Two economy plunged last year after the rice industry began to deteriorate, following the collapsed Venezuela rice market.
Last week Region Two Chairman Devanand Ramdatt visited several farmers in the backdam where farmers related that local markets are flooded with vegetables and so no one is buying.
Speaking with Guyana Times during the visit, the chairman had said cash-crop farmers are facing difficulty in selling their vegetables at a profit, adding it is “heart wrenching” to see the situation farmers are facing.
During conversation with farmers, the chairman related that concerns were raised by vendors about the current state of the rice industry. He pointed out that the ailing rice industry it is having a very negative effect on the entire Region Two, hence persons cannot afford to spend as they did previously.
During interviews conducted by Guyana Times with market vendors at Charity, Anna Regina and Suddie, they all lamented the economic hardships they are facing.
The vendors related that most activities in the region rest on the rice industry, which is the main economic pillar.

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