El Ministro Persaud urge a los productores de arroz a no descuidar los mercados de exportación tradicionales
Minister of Agriculture, Robert Persaud during a meeting with rice farmers, millers and exporters to update them on the new rice agreement sealed with Venezuela, cautioned them not to sacrifice the traditional rice export markets for the Venezuelan market.
Minister Persaud and Venezuelan Ambassador Dario Morandy on Tuesday sealed a US$54M agreement for the supply of rice and paddy to Venezuela. The agreement, in addition to establishing a new contract that will see 50,000 tonnes of paddy at US$520 per metric tonne and 20,000 metric tonnes of rice at US$800 per metric tonne being supplied to Venezuela, extends and revised three previous contracts that were established between the two countries for the supply of rice to Venezuela.
Minister Persaud told the millers and exporters that whilst the new rice agreement with Venezuela is timely as it allows the country adequate competitive markets for this rice crop, it however comes at a time when Venezuela is experiencing problems and as such they must ‘continue to pursue traditional rice export markets’.
He Agriculture Minister said that the ministry has already been receiving reports that several exporters have been telling rice farmers that they are unable to supply the traditional markets because of Venezuela.
The ministry will not allow persons to sacrifice the traditional markets, Minister Persaud said, and will give export preference to the Venezuela market to those millers and exporters who continue to target and develop the traditional markets.
Exporters who owe farmers will also not be allowed to export under the new market arrangement with Venezuela; Persaud told the exporters and millers, adding that only exporters who honour their commitment to farmers and other stakeholders will be allowed access to the new market.
Citing the Mahaicony Rice Mill as one of the exporters that will not be facilitated under the new agreement, Minister Persaud said that the mill has proven to be an unreliable stakeholder in the rice industry, not only owing farmers but also having other liabilities.
The minister however, said that if in the near future, the company is able to satisfy and deal with its commitment, then it will be allowed access to the Venezuela market.