Rice Farmers To Sue Ministry Over Stalled Rice Project

Three-hundred-and-fifty rice farmers at Ohiamadwene and its environs in the Shama District of the Western Region have threatened to take legal action against the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) for its inability to carry out a rice project for them.

At a press conference held in Shama, the farmers said they had lost interest in the project and are demanding the return of their farmland, compensation for the destruction of their crops on the farms as well as severance payment as a result of their joblessness.

Mr Francis Hotoviovi, spokesman for the farmers who addressed the press conference, said the government through the MOFA acquired 75 hectares of farmland from them to cultivate rice which was dubbed the “Inland Valley Rice Development Project”.

He said as a result their crops were destroyed to pave space for the rice project but for five years now nothing had been done, thus rendering them jobless.

Mr Hotoviovi said the project should have been completed in 18 months but “the farmers have not set eyes on the MOFA officials and the contractor.’’

He said a contractor negotiated with only the landowners disregarding them therefore could not tell the terms of agreement covering the project.