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“We are on our last” – Food security threatened in Reg. 9; VP assures of Gov't assistance

Michael Williams Toshao of Annai, North Rupununi, Region Nine [Left]

Michael Williams Toshao of Annai, North Rupununi, Region Nine, called on the Government to intervene and assist residents from over 60 villages in Region Nine, North Rupununi, whose food is threatened.

He told those gathered at the National Toshao Council (NTC) Conference on Thursday that 90 percent of farmers in this region cannot plant new crops and therefore cannot survive in the new month.

Farmers could not plant new crops as rainfall persisted from last year until now.

“We are on our last; by next month, there will be nothing to reap. What do we do from now to then? What do we do? Right now, as it is, we have enough ration, but when that ration is finished, where do we go,” Toshao Williams questioned.

Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, who was present on Thursday, noted that if people do not have food in their communities, it is a major problem, and the Government must work on a special initiative to address this.

“We have to find a way of getting them food supplies while we’re fixing the agricultural issues so they can go back to farming. We know what has happened that we have not had a dry season for almost 6 – 8 months now, and so we know that it is wreaking havoc on our food production systems, particularly in the villages. You can get resources to support you on the agriculture, going back to the farms.”

President Irfaan Ali, during his opening speech of the conference, had urged the indigenous leaders to develop a Hinterland Food Security plan so the Government could invest in this.

It is unclear whether this plan was brought up during the five-day event; however, the Vice President assured the leaders that the Government would help every community where food security is threatened.

“But if there is any need for food help and we find that villages don’t have food, trust me, the President, I know the President and I know this party that is in government it will help every single community that needs that.”

In the meantime, the Government will be heading to the National Assembly on Thursday to seek an additional $3B in supplementary funds for development in agriculture, health care, education, and youth empowerment.


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