President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali engaged with residents of the Coverden community in a meeting held at ‘Cherry Farm’ on Friday afternoon, to address issues and explore opportunities for development within the community.
President Ali stressed the importance of adopting a more integrated approach to farming in the community.
Coverden has a farming group of about 58 farmers. The president highlighted the limitations of individual acreage farming and urged residents to consider a collaborative effort.
“If everybody does an acre, sometimes you don’t get the best capability,” he stated.
President Ali proposed the strategic allocation of 200 acres of land for large-scale pig rearing, with the farmers themselves taking charge of management.
“We can go into an integrated farm with large scale pig rearing, and make this the model farm for that because a lot of you guys are into that, “the president underscored.
To support this initiative, he said the government will implement the necessary infrastructure, complemented by extension services and other forms of support from the Ministry of Agriculture.
“So, we have to think a bit different, while we are thinking about agriculture, we have to think how we make it more competitive, how we make it more attractive, how we make it in such a way that we will have more revenue,” he highlighted.
Neighboring Sarah Johanna residents have requested assistance in building three dams to improve access to their farmlands.
President Ali mentioned a technology which stabilises clay, transforming it into a durable surface similar to concrete. The government is currently testing this technology is at Laluni, and once successful, this technique will be takes to other communities.
The residents also raised concerns about water accessibility, particularly as they expand their farms into the backlands, where accessing water from the main source on the public road becomes challenging.
President Ali assured that new transmissions are slated for implementation in the area. In the meantime, interim measures will involve providing farmers with necessary materials to facilitate their own connections for water access.
One of the residents also requested for the construction of a community centre.
The President said once the community can identify a piece of land, the government will build the centre.
Addressing the gathering, Minister Mustapha highlighted the substantial support provided to the farming group, including equipment and fertilizers.
He outlined ongoing efforts in the drainage system, with over $70 million invested to clear six canals and ongoing work on a large drainage canal. The Minister also mentioned the upcoming internal drainage initiative following discussions with farmers.
Minister of Housing and Water, Collin Croal, Minister of Natural Resource, Vickram Bharrat, Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister with Responsibility for Public Affairs, Kwame Mc Coy and Minister within the Ministry of Public Works, Deodat Indar were also in attendance.