Minister of Agriculture, Noel Holder said that the report presented to him by the Guyana Rice Export Board (GREB) shows no losses resulting from flood. Minister Holder highlighted the report revealed that:
Region two had less than 11,000 of rice hectares. 1,608 hectares were under excess water and 1,055 hectares were under threat. There were no losses.
Region three had 6,700 rice acres. 1,700 were inundated and same were under threat. There were no losses
Region Four there were 3,500 rice acres sown. 156 inundated and same under threat. There were no losses
Region Five had 31,000 hectares of rice. 6,100 acres were inundated and same under threat. Again there were no losses.
Region six had 15,276 hectares of which 140 acres were inundated and under threat. There were no losses.
Additionally, the Agriculture Minister explained that one of the problems the Ministry encountered during the flood is the clearance of the outfall channels from the sluices. He said the outfalls would silt up rapidly.
The solution therefore, is to install groins at the North East channels which would provide a long-term solution. “The groins would have to be placed by Ministry of Public Infrastructure. If the channels are cleared then the drainage canals can drain to a lower level which means they clear more of the water, flooding will be minimized,” Minister Holder explained.
According to Minister Holder in the ministry’s 2017 programme the Ministry of Finance has approved money for the purchase of a dredge to clean the outfalls channels. This dredge will also clean the outfalls channels at the Pomeroon, since there was a challenge in releasing water from the Takatuma river.
“We plan to do same at Mahaicony since it there is flooded too. If the mouth of Mahaicony is cleared, water flowing will be better,” Minister Holder added.