El ministro de agricultura insta a los agricultores a exportar directamente al mercado Venezolano
Guyana's rice industry has grown to such an extent that it now rates as the second most important agricultural industry with modern technology and years of research and to ensure that this is maintained, Agriculture Minister Robert Persaud today joined with farmers at a Farmers' Field day.
The exchange programme was intended to share knowledge and experiences garnered over the years in successfully growing rice under different conditions and was held at Vereeniging, Cane Grove, Mahaica.
Rice farmers were encouraged to adopt to the six-point practice to showcase the benefits of improved crop management, hence improved production and higher yields.
Minister Persaud said that the field day which serves as a method to enhance extension service and better crop husbandry has since proven to be effective in increasing productivity, adding that in 2010, the country recorded its highest ever production and export despite climate change.
He pointed out that despite what has been taking place globally, the sector can look towards another successful crop.
“The six-point strategy can take the rice industry to another level in terms of its yields. We also found that this tested method in transferring knowledge has been very effective in Guyana and certainly that has contributed to the country's success in rice,” he said.
The six improved crop management practices are based on: time of planting, density of plant, treatment of seeds, weed control, fertilizer and water management.
With regards to the outstanding payment for paddy by the Mahaicony Rice Mill Limited (MRL), he said that farmers will continue to take actions against the said company if they fail to comply.
A call was made for the company to observe the rules and regulation under the Rice Factories Amendment Act, since its non-compliance will severely hamper the industry.
“We do hope that with the favourable international markets, that millers will be punctual in payment as well as offer farmers better incentives. We will insist that the treatment meted out to farmers is not only in conformity with our laws but, what is also fair for the industry,” he said.
Farmers were challenged to export directly to the Venezuelan market, so as to exclude the millers and exporters and to be able to receive better prices. This is to ensure that farmers are directly involved to benefit from opening of new market opportunities.
A call was also made to the Regional Administration to ensure that dams are maintained at all times, since this will significantly affect farmers harvesting their produce. Government will continue to assist the Region in this regard.
Following the discussion forum with farmers, a tour to Ramlakhan Narine rice fields was conducted by the Agriculture Minister along with officials of the GRDB, Rice Producers Association (RPA), and farmers.
The farmer has since embarked on the GRDB 10 which can withstand dry condition for a period and thus far, has been seeing improved results.
The GRDB has developed a flood and drought tolerant rice (GRDB 9 &10), which can withstand the effects of the extreme weather condition for up to two weeks.
This has since been successful and GRDB's scientists are currently working to develop four other strands to assist in this regard.