FARMERS play a vital role in Guyanese welfare, so it is encouraging and satisfying to see Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha and Attorney General Anil Nandlall join forces to resolve land issues of concern to farmers. This government is closely associated with the land people, and historically farmers have sought justice and fairness within the People’s Progressive / Civic Party (PPP / C), a party that became more of a national socio-economic movement than a purely political entity. . Farmers know that they could rely on this government not only to solve their problems, but to fuel their livelihoods and ensure the small farmers’ agriculture industry thrives.
Guyanese love to go out to the markets across the country, at Stabroek and Bourda Market, and also Mahaica and Mahaicony, New Amsterdam, Bartica, Parika, Linden, Charity and Anna Regina. It’s almost a cultural practice for Guyanese to go out to browse markets and check for bargains on fresh fruits and vegetables and chat to their farmers with lots of laughs and good fun.
This nation enjoys the excellent position of maintaining a national nucleus of home-grown farmers and individual entrepreneurs who work the land, rather than diverting the country’s food supply to major industrial concerns and megafarms. Small farmers care for their farms with loving care, so today Guyanese enjoy fresh, organic food, with fruits and vegetables fresh off the land. While the rest of the world is rushing for processed food and trying to source fresh organic and healthy foods, such as gluten-free, Guyanese could wander over to their local market and collect organic fresh fruits and vegetables and provide the earth so easily. Given the pleasant tropical weather of the land, Guyana is blessed with rich, fertile land on its coast, much of which is farmed, spreading from Berbice throughout Demerara and through Essequibo. Small farmers play a leading role in the food industry, and this is somewhat unique in the world. In developed countries, there is great angst among people about processed food that industrial food processing companies release on society. Even apples and mangoes in these countries are sprayed with preservative chemicals.
Tomatoes are picked green and sprayed with carbon dioxide to ripen so they stay longer on the shelf. Many countries with tropical weather cannot grow their own fresh fruits and vegetables for much of the year, and rely on long haul routes to supply needs and bring in food supplies. Thus a large activist advocacy and health sector exists worldwide for people to access fresh, chemical-free, organic food. Some countries even ban fresh milk from being sold to the public, requiring dairy farmers to transfer their milk through industrial processing. All these issues, Guyana does not face it. This land has an abundance of healthy fruits and vegetables and milk and eggs. And so it’s good to see the government, with these two ministers, taking such an interest in making Guyanese farmers happy and able to concentrate on their farms, rather than worrying about land issues and even drainage and irrigation. Minister Mustapha personally travels the country, and makes drainage and irrigation efficient and functional. The image on social media of him in long boots walking on mud dams to enter a farm country, talking and interacting with farmers, that is the leadership of a grassroots servant that all farmers welcome.
Guyana has always encouraged a robust agricultural industry, with rice, sugar and cash crops playing a major role in the national economy, in fact since the formation of the British nation. Most Guyanese grew backyard gardening, and with open markets across the country flourishing with affordable fresh food harvested from sunny farmlands. Many of the country’s doctors and lawyers and achievers would have farmers in their background, funding them for study and self-development. The role of farmers in the history and development of the country is undoubted, and the PPP / C Governments always acknowledged and acknowledged this fact. This is a country that loves its farmers, recognizing the value of these hardworking men and women who bend their backs in the hot sun and brave rainy days to cultivate the land, plow the land and feed society. Everywhere in Guyana, farmers live and work, humble, plant and reap and bring their produce to markets, waking up in the early hours of the morning to start their day. They are the most beautiful people in the country, full of fun and good stories and laughs loud and healthy and strong with the sun’s hardened skin and hardened wisdom.
It’s great that Guyana maintains such a farming community, and doesn’t industrialize its food production and processing system. Although there is a growing export sector for fresh food and fish, supplying local food needs is a tremendous job for local farmers. As the country jumps forward to huge progress and prosperity, one hopes that society would always maintain this national army of small-scale cultivators who mark the earth with their soles and planting fingers , pouring the land with song in their hearts as they fed Guyanese healthy, fresh, live food. Over the years, Attorney General Nandlall has shown great care and affection for farmers, working with many of them to resolve issues in the Mahaica-Mahaicony-Abary (MMA) scheme, and through District Five. With Minister Mustapha, farmers are now fully engaged with the government, with the minister showing a deep passion for their welfare. Society tends to take certain things that are rooted and normal, and as natural as the sun, for granted. Guyanese farmers play such a rooted, natural role in the nation, that most citizens do not think twice about their daily contribution to the national welfare. It is good to see that government ministers recognize their worth and value and are committed to ensuring that their problems are resolved with the satisfaction and efficiency of boosting morale. In farmers, the nation embodies a wealth of souls who care for Guyanese welfare. Looking after them is a national duty.