Rice production increased 11 per cent last year to reach its highest ever level of 401,904 tonnes, earning the country more than US$169 million, government has announced.
The government said the steady increase in production was due to continued investment in programmes and initiatives aimed at supporting rice farmers through agencies such as the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB).
“Over the past five years the GRDB restructured its research efforts to better able to serve the farmers and other stakeholders and organized research programmes have been conceived that have steadily changed not only the environment in which rice is grown, but the success of the crop,” a released issued by the Guyana Information Agency stated.
The GRDB has been credited with the successful launch of five new rice varieties for commercial cultivation, two of which were launched in 2011. “Another 14 strains are being tested and studied across the country to identify additional varieties for use in Guyana,” the statement added.
Last year, Guyana and the oil-rich Venezuela signed a US$54 million agreement for the supply of rice. That deal also extended and revised three previous contracts. More than 160, 000 tonnes of the Guyana’s rice exports went to the neighbouring country.