Surinamese authorities preventing Guyanese farmers from transporting produce

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COVID-19 measures in place resulting in farmers losing millions of dollars

A number of farmers residing in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) within the past month have already suffered millions of dollars in losses and continue to lose money following the denial of Surinamese authorities to allow them to use the Corentyne River to transport their produce.

Regional Chairman of Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), David Armogan, in an exclusive interview with this publication on Thursday stated that yesterday (Thursday) he dispatched a letter to Guyana’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr. Karen Cummings, seeking her intervention in the farmers’ plights.

He said that a copy of this letter was also sent to Head-of-State, David Granger.

“ I know that there is a stipulation that the Surinamese authorities have direct control over the Corentyne River at the moment and they are not allowing any person even from Orealla or Siparuta or even farmers to traverse the river unless you get special permission from the Surinamese authorities. This is not easy to get…I am asking (our authorities) to see how best a system can be worked out so that at least our farmers can come out three times a week to sell their produce in Corriverton.”

According to Armogan, the difficulties faced by these cash crop farmers who wholesale and retail their produce to the market vendors across Region Six will have negative impacts on thousands of families.

He emphasized that there needs to be an intervention as soon as possible.

“Otherwise, their livelihoods will be seriously threatened and then the fruits, vegetables and ground provisions will become far more expensive in the Corriverton area once they are not able to get their produce out. This is because these farmers are the major producers of these stuff coming out into the Skeldon Market area. Lots of fruits and vegetables are already spoilt and these farmers sent a petition to me asking for me to take action to help them which is why I sent the letter to the Foreign Affairs Minister and the President for their intervention,” Armogan added.

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