Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo is refuting allegations that prior to taking office, himself or anyone in the current administration promised rice farmers that a bag of paddy would have been bought at $9,000.
The Prime Minister made this declaration in the National Assembly on Monday during the debate of the motion regarding the increased land rent for farmers by the Mahaica Mahaicony Abary Agriculture Authority (MMA/ADA).
Nagamootoo, in his statement, refuted the allegations that were made by the rice farmers.
“The Opposition invented an argument to fool rice farmers by saying that we have promised $9,000 per bag of paddy, no such promises was ever made by myself or anyone on this side of the house no such promise has been made in the manifesto during the election,” he noted.
The Prime Minister’s remarks were seemingly contradictory since according to Benjee Singh, in a letter to the editor dated September 4, 2015, the APNU+AFC whole heartedly promised rice farmers $9,000 per bag of paddy at several political meetings.
Singh in his letter stated also that the declaration was made by the Prime Minister in Region 6 during political meetings and that it was also repeated by Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan to rice farmers during political meetings in region 4 and 6.
According to the letter, this promise was also made and repeated by Dr. Turhane Doerga during political meetings at Cane Grover Region 4 promising rice farmers that they would be paid $9,000 per bag of paddy respectively.
Singh is his letter also stated that Government should live up to their promise and do the wise thing. Rice farmers are protesting the low cost of a bag of paddy which currently stands at $2,600 as opposed to the increased $9,000 that they are claiming they were promised by the administration during the election campaign of the 2015 Regional and General Elections.