Dawa pump station fully operable  

Minister Zulfikar Mustapha and other officials while at the Dawa Pump Station (Photo: Ministry of Agriculture)

During the meeting, Minister Mustapha said that although the ministry’s Hydromet Service has forecasted that some amount of rain is projected, the usual wet season rains are not expected and that systems are being put in place to ensure farmers, specifically rice farmers, have enough water as they prepare for the upcoming sowing season which is expected to run from mid-November to mid-December.

While farmers’ main concern was adequate water resources, issues about effective monitoring of irrigation structures were also raised. Minister Mustapha then called on the Regional Officials to engage rangers to ensure there is a heightened monitoring of these irrigation structures.

Farmers were also allowed to raise suggestions on how to monitor the situation to ensure effective management of the resources and the system. While some suggested a schedule detailing how water will be distributed within the cultivation areas, Minister Mustapha said that it would have to be something that all farmers agree on.

“We have a similar system in Black Bush Polder in Region Six where we publish who will get water and when. It is a system that is working for those farmers but you, the farmers, have to agree on it. We can look at it. I’ll ask the NDIA and the Regional Officials to work with you on that,” he said.

Some of the farmers who attended the meeting (Photo: Ministry of Agriculture)

The minister also formed a committee comprising representatives from the two Water Users Associations (Annandale- Good Hope Water Users Association and the Charity – Zorg-en-Vlygt Water User’s Association), the NDIA, the Regional Officials, and the security forces to monitor the water situation and structures to ensure the system runs effectively.

Minister Mustapha was accompanied by MoA’s Director General, Madanlall Ramraj, Chairman of the NDIA, Lionel Wordsworth, GRDB’s Deputy General Manager, Kuldip Ragnauth, GLDA’s CEO (ag), Dr. Dwight Waldron, NAREI’s CEO, Jagnarine Singh, and other staff of the ministry.