… says rice farmers need to be given more attentionBy Indrawattie NatramWith the troubles the rice industry is currently experiencing in the agricultural region of Pomeroon-Supenaam,The rice cereal factory in Region TwoRegion Two Chairman Devanand Ramdatt is calling on Government to put the rice cereal factory, located at Anna Regina, in operation. Ramdatt made this request at the Flag Raising Ceremony held on May 25, 2016, in the region to mark Guyana’s 50th Anniversary.During his address, Ramdatt noted that unemployment is the major challenge affecting the region, coupled with the low prices offered for paddy. He therefore urged the government to put the factory in operation at the shortest possible time, adding that it will create employment for over 200 persons, and positively impact the rice industry.Ramdatt said he is clueless as to why such a beneficial project has not yet materialized even though the facility was constructed under the previous administration. The chairman said even as Guyana celebrated its 50th Jubilee Anniversary it must be recognized that the economy is struggling and Region Two must not be forgotten.He explained that a careful assessment of the rice industry and timely interventions by government of subsidies on fuel, fertilizers, pesticides, timely payment, rescheduling of loans should be given attention. He told attendees that rice farmers are crying out daily; and pointed to the over 80 per cent of Region Two population who rely on the rice industry one way or the other.“Give priority to our farmers, do not invest in parks without meaningful consultations with our people. If we cannot maintain play grounds, how are we going to sustain these parks? Evidence of deterioration at these Parks is already here with us, farmers need help” Ramdatt reiterated.The chairman further said the region over the years demonstrated to the rest of Guyana that it is a model region; a region where the people are at peace, civility and harmony. He called on government to give positive recognition to the region of 50,000 people.He noted even as Guyana attained 50 years of Independence much more needs to be done for continued progress and positive transformations such as better drainage and irrigation and improvement of roads.He also requested the establishment of a branch of the University of Guyana, a Regional Cultural Centre, implementation of a strategic and integrated approach to address social ills, child sexual abuse and suicide in particular, upgrading of sport facilities and a regional gymnasium, improved telecommunication services, expansion of the region’s tourism sector; and for the establishment of an agro/processing facility to be given priority.