Farmers and people who live in Region Six got $425 million from the government on Friday to help them buy fertilizer for their crops and start businesses or grow existing ones.
Vice-President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo told a group of farmers at a community meeting in Number 63 Village, Region Six, that $300 million has been given to rice farmers in the region to buy fertilizer for their crops, and $25 million has been given to cash crop farmers.
The rice farmers will get together and make sure that only the right people get the fertilizer. They will also buy the fertilizers and make sure they are spread out evenly.
Vice President Jagdeo said that the government will help with the process, and a group of farmers will form a committee that will be very important in making sure that what happened with the flood-relief cash grant doesn’t happen again.
Vice-President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo laughing with residents of Kilcoy/Chesney on Friday. “We don’t want to come back here and hear from people again that some people got help who didn’t deserve it and others didn’t,” he told the crowd. “So you are going to have an opportunity now to help us better distribute this help, better spread this help to others.”
There were a lot of complaints about people who got cash grants for flood relief by lying and saying they were farmers who lost money in last year’s massive floods. This kept many real farmers who lost money from getting help from the government.
On Thursday, at a meeting with fishermen at the Classic International Hotel in East Berbice Corentyne, Dr. Jagdeo talked about verification. He asked the fishermen in the room to help make sure that only real fishermen get the $150,000 one-time grant the government gives to fishermen all over the country.
This month, people who want to get the one-time $150,000 grant will have their claims looked over, and payments will start in July.
The $300 million for rice farmers in Region Six and the $25 million for cash crop farmers in the region come from the $1 billion in free fertilizer that President Dr. Irfaan Ali announced last month for all farmers in the country.
During a recent trip to Region Two, Vice President Jagdeo said that farmers there will get about $250 million to buy fertilizer, and cash crop farmers will get another $25 million for the same reason.
Stakeholders have agreed that the government’s step was the right one at the right time. On the world market, the price of fertilizers went up by 80% in 2021, and it has gone up by another 30% since the beginning of 2022.
The People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) government is helping farmers by giving them free fertilizers. This is part of their plan to absorb the rising global costs of the commodity and keep them from being passed on to consumers.
After his meeting in Number 63 Village was over, Vice-President Jagdeo went to the Albion Sports Ground, where he was welcomed by hundreds of people.
At that forum, he told people that he is keeping a promise he made to people in Region Six during his last outreach. He had said that the region would get 400 small business grants, and he is now doing that.
The people who got help from the government were grateful for it. The 400 grants, which are each worth $250,000, will bring about $100 million into the area to help people start small businesses or grow existing ones.
“We want people to be able to support themselves. It’s not a lot of money, but in Region 10, for example, they spend a lot of it on chicken. They raise a lot of chicken, so the $250,000 was enough to build a pen, buy feed, and get probably a hundred chicks for them to grow up.
“Some people use it to help with other projects. So, I hope that you will use these small business grants to create jobs for yourselves and that, with help from the government, your business will grow in the future. “We want to help people do better so they can make more jobs and start their own businesses,” he told the locals.
In its 2020 platform, the PPP/C said it would give about 50,000 Guyanese jobs during its first term in office. In the past 18 months, many development projects have led to the creation of thousands of jobs.
The government will also create between 8,000 and 10,000 part-time jobs. So far, about 6,000 of these jobs have been given out in Regions 2, 6, and 10.
The Vice-President said that these jobs are important, pointing out that 35,000 Guyanese lost their jobs because of bad policies under the former A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Government, and another 35,000 lost their jobs when the same government shut down the country for COVID-19.
When the PPP/C Government took over in August 2020, they decided to reopen the country and put a lot of attention on vaccinations and stopping the spread of the pandemic.
Dr. Jagdeo said that this strategy has paid off because Guyana is in a much better state after the pandemic than many developed countries with better health care systems. There were more deaths in many of these countries, and the pandemic hurt their economies.
During his outreach to Region Six, the Vice-President also went to Crabwood, Little India, Little Africa, Belvedere, and Chesney on the spur of the moment. Most of what these people have to say about their communities is how bad the roads and garbage collection are.
The Vice-President said that the government has set aside about $4 billion in the Budget 2022 to fix the community roads in Region Six, as well as to deal with the garbage problems. He also told the people about what the government had planned for Region Six and what its vision was for the whole country.
Since taking office, the government has been working hard to keep the promises it made in its campaign. So far, about 80% of those promises have been kept, said Dr. Jagdeo.
Value-Added Tax (VAT) on water, electricity, machinery, agricultural inputs, and other taxes that were too high have been taken away. The school uniform grant has been brought back and increased from $10,000 to $25,000. School uniform vouchers have gone from $2,000 to $5,000. The excise tax on diesel and gasoline has been cut to zero. The old-age pension has gone up by 40%. More than 10,000 house lots have been given out, and thousands of people will get homes. Billions of dollars have been spent on infrastructure.