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$110M excavator to boost MMA-ADA scheme

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The Mahaica-Mahaicony Abary- Agricultural Development Authority (MMA-ADA) is now in a better position to more efficiently clean and maintain the 740 miles of canal in the scheme situated in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice).
This follows the handing over of an amphibious excavator to boost MMA-ADA’s capacity to maintain the drainage and irrigation infrastructure within the scheme.
An amphibious excavator is a type of excavator that can perform dredging while afloat on soft terrain such as swamp, wet land, and shallow water.
The equipment valued at $110M was handed over to the scheme by Agriculture Minister Zulfikar Mustapha on Saturday at Onverwagt.
It was one of five purchased by the agriculture ministry with the others to be deployed around the country.
Region Five, Vice Chairman Rian Pieters said it was foresight by the agriculture minister to have made arrangements for the purchase through the 2024 national Budget.
“This will significantly boost our capacity to maintain the D&I system within the MMA,” he said at a simple handing-over ceremony.
The excavator has huge track wheels and is designed to go directly into the canals. Some of the canals in the scheme are very wide requiring large excavators to clean them. Additionally, in some areas, the excavators would have to operate from both the left and right shoulder of the canal.
The amphibious excavator will reduce the time spent traveling to get to an adequate bridge to cross to the other side of the canal.
The excavator also comes with a pontoon which would allow it to also operate in canals with water higher than six feet.
It is suited to conduct work in wetland areas such as dredging, vegetation removal, habitat restoration, shoreline stabilisation and environmental conservation projects.
However, this is not the first intervention by the Agriculture Ministry to boost the capacity of the scheme.
Mustapha noted that equipment including trucks and tractors have been procured and handed over to the agency since the government took office in 2020.
Also speaking at the handing over ceremony, he noted that it was the sixth machine added to the fleet, and will better be able to handle the drainage and irrigation needs of the region.

The $110M amphibious excavator that was handed over to the MMA-ADA on Saturday at Onverwagt, Region Five

“So, we have a fleet of machinery here that the agency can use to desilt the canals, keep them clean and ensure that the dams are clean. I was made to understand that they have 740 miles of canal in this entire Onverwagt scheme.”
He pointed out that the excavator will also come in handy when clearing the 650 miles of dams that are found in the scheme.
Adverse weather conditions last crop only allowed for 70,000 of the 90,000 acres of rice land to be cultivated.
It is expected that over 100,000 acres of rice will be cultivated for this crop as efforts are currently being made to get additional land available for rice cultivation within the scheme.
“When I became Minister of Agriculture and I first visited this scheme it was in a very deplorable state. We had dilapidated machines that couldn’t function. However, today we can boast of the improvements that we are having in the scheme,” the Minister pointed out.
He also noted that the PPP/C government took office in 2020, and it has reduced the land rental and D&I charges from $15,000 to $3,500, for farmers who operate within the scheme.
“This has seen farmers being able to save close to $1.3 billion just on D&I charges.”
The scheme has significantly assisted the Region in increasing its agricultural output production. (G4)

The post $110M excavator to boost MMA-ADA scheme appeared first on Guyana Times.

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