Speaking to the media at a press conference hosted today, Agriculture Minister Robert Persaud gave an update as to what is being done from the agricultural standpoint as it relates to persons affected by the Region 9 floods. According to the Minister, his Ministry is about to finalize its recovery plan for Region Nine targeting affected farmers and the affected communities. This facility, he said, will also be extended to other areas should they be affected.
Starting tonight consignments will be leaving Georgetown and heading to Annai and Lethem. These consignments will also move further down, to Aishalton and to other communities that are affected. They include chemicals, some quantities of planting material to deal with other pests and disease that tend to afflict both livestock. He described this as being "just the first wave" in terms of recovery. The MOA will also be sending in additional staff.
The Minister also expressed his appreciation for the initiative undertaken by the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry. The bank will be providing financing to those affected by the flood, particularly farmers, at an interest rate of just about 6 percent which is far less than the regular interest rate. Persons have a maximum repayment period of 36 months and equity in terms of collateral would not be required. The bank has stated that it has different levels in terms of what would be these as it calls small unsecured loans up to what levels it would be making those available.
This act, the Minister said, contrasts significantly from what we have seen from the Granger-led Opposition in terms of being constructive. He described statement emanating from that camp as efforts to misrepresent the relief efforts that are taking place and thinks that is uncalled for.