Sunday, March 21, 2010

GAPA has been resuscitated to misinform farmers and create confusion

Kaieteur News letter. 21 March 2010. GAPA has been resuscitated to misinform farmers and create confusion.

March 21, 2010 | By KNews | Filed Under Letters

Dear Editor,
The article appearing in newspapers of 16 March, 2010, based on a press release from GAPA, describes the Guyana Agricultural Producers Association as a non-governmental group, when in fact it was launched as a PPP front group in the latter part of the 1070’s.
I was one of the leading members of the group. At the time I was also the General Secretary of the Guyana Cane Farmers Association and shared the same office facilities with GAPA and the Guyana Rice Producers Association. We were also a PPP front organisation, but we offered vibrant mass support to all cane farmers in the country, backed by the PPP and its organ, the Mirror newspaper.
Under the instruction of Dr Jagan, in the latter part of the 1970’s, the group was headed by the veteran PPP Organiser, Pariag Sukhai, who later became a Member of Parliament. The sole intention of GAPA was to assist small farmers engaged in cash crop farming to demand better prices and farming conditions from the PNC dictatorship.
Pariag, who is still alive, can attest to this fact, since he became its first President. It was not legally incorporated, as the Guyana Rice Producers Association and was therefore not held accountable by law.
GAPA was resuscitated by the Ameridian Minister Pauline Sukhai and Robert Persuad last year to enhance the image of the Jagdeo- Persaud regime, to actively misinform farmers and create confusion among the farming community.
This current outfit has become part of the Stalinist method of misrule and control by the powers that be. It does not matter which vehicle the Jagdeo regime uses to spread its lies and misinformation, people will not buy its propaganda. The reality is - a major crisis is going to face the country soon and no amount of smoke screen will blow things away.
Already the cost of living is reaching a high point and the blame is solidly placed on the arrogant and talkative Minister of Agriculture and those officials in the Ministry of Agriculture due to their failure to pump water in all the conservancies in the latter part of last year, which would have prevented the current hardships facing all farmers and consequently all workers and all citizens.
We do not have the same crisis in neighbouring Suriname, why? Because of the level of importance shown by those who are in government. Where – then - does the buck stops? Certainly the Jagdeo administration must be held to account and specifically his inexperienced relative, Montgomery Robert Persaud. All will agree that such levels of incompetence will not be tolerated in other countries. The Minister would have been out of a job, but here, the person is promoted to higher office.
The unwarranted attack on the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) General Secretary Norris Witter, claiming that he has been attempting to politicize the national response to the global El Nino phenomenon, is a vain attempt to divert the nation’s attention from the appalling mishandling of the current weather situation. The workers will be faced with severe food shortages and high prices and it is the role and duty of the trade union leaders to defend the welfare and well-being of its members and society at large.
M. Jinnah Rahman

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