-Conservancy to be developed in West Watooka
The challenges facing farmers in the mining town of Linden, are expected to be addressed, following a visit to the town by Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha. Mustapha and a team of officials representing the different departments within Ministry of Agriculture, visited Linden and met with farmers residing in West Watooka, Bamia/Amelia’s Ward and Nottinghamshire.
Farmers took the opportunity to share their concerns such as the lack of maintenance of public infrastructure within the community, which affects their output significantly. West Watooka is the farming hub for Linden and scores of farmers took the opportunity to share with the Minister their daily challenges of farming with limited water supply, clogged canals and drains, amongst others.
The Minister announced that the community will benefit from a $123 M project which will fund the development of a conservancy aback the community. “In the new year, start January- February, we will start a conservancy right at the bank here, so we will trap irrigation water, $123 M will be expended right here, so that we can have regular irrigation to your crops,” he said. The Minister committed to regular engagement with the farmers and to providing tangible relief and support, which will positively impact their day to day operations. “Comrades rest assured, we are committed to improving agriculture, as I said, agriculture is the number one activity for me, agriculture is the most important sector, I will work assiduously, I will work with every stake holder, APNU, AFC, PPP, every one of us.”
He urged the farmers, to put aside political affiliation and work with the Ministry as it pushes to improve the quality of farming in Region 10. As the community awaits the conservancy project, Minister Mustapha said two machines will be brought to the community to commence cleaning of the canals and road side drains. Manual cleaning will also be done, which will create jobs for the same farmers. He urged them however, to do it to the satisfaction of the community. Similar commitments were made to farmers at Bamia and Nottinghamshire. The Minister told farmers at Bamia that he will give them his full support for whatever is needed to advance farming in the community. “Rest assured, as the Minister of Agriculture, I will give you my full support, so that we can develop together and jointly so we can develop this community,”
He also outlined the various policies highlighted by his government which are designed to empower farmers. These include the removal of VAT from the agricultural products, reduced charges for land and agricultural services and the provision of funding for farmers.
Minister Mustapha met with individuals that highlighted their personal challenges as well as distributed seeds to the rest of farmers.