The National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) has committed to the execution of major works to aid East Berbice farmers through better drainage and irrigation systems and the ‘opening up’ of more lands for cultivation.
On Thursday last, a team from the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA) made a visit to the district, where they met with scores of farmers for one-on-one discourses about their concerns and the way forward.
Monitoring and Evaluation Officer (MEO) of the NDIA, Christine Douglas disclosed that the agricultural agency plans to develop at least 5000 acres of farmlands for new and renewed cultivation.
“For all those people who were planting on their lands but because they don’t have the proper infrastructure – they stop planting for years – we are trying to resuscitate them, so they can resume farming. For those lands that were never fared, we are trying to develop DNI infrastructure in those areas, so that people can open these new farming lands,” Douglas said.
According to Douglas, presently, the main aim of the NDIA is to provide irrigation for the East Bank Berbice (EBB) farming area. Furthermore, the MEO explained that two excavators are working to create a buffer to prevent the lands from flooding when there is high tide.
“We are crowning off the dam at the back from Mara Village to this end because they [farmers] say when the Canje River is experiencing high-tide, the water overflows and floods them out.”
Douglas added that Korthberaadt Village was on the 2018 list for developmental works and since then, farmers have shown their commitment, utilising the plots of land.
Preparation for both dry and rainy season will see a system being established where farmers themselves can regulate the water flow.
Approximately 2000 acres of land is being occupied by farmers on the East Bank of Berbice. 400 of those are cultivated with rice, while the remaining portions are divided for cash crop and pastoral farming.
The NDIA representative says the project will continue until the organisation brings satisfaction to the farmers.
Story and Images: by Kellon Rover.
IMG2- NDIA team members interact with some East Bank Berbice farmers.
IMG1- Ms. Christine Douglas, Monitoring Evaluation Officer of NDIA)