Global Partnership Initiative for Plant Breeding Capacity Building (test)

Plant breeding programs in Guyana

Geographical situation of GuyanaSuitable climatic conditions, abundance of natural water resources and adequate topographic and soil characteristics make agriculture an important sector of Guyana's economy, accounting for around 30% of the GDP. Sugar cane and rice are the two main crops of Guyana.

The three main institutions carrying out plant breeding activities in Guyana are NARI, GRDB and GUYSUCO, and are all public sector agencies. The number and level of training of breeders are low and the budget allocated is showing a significant decline.

The main breeding programmes are rice and sugarcane which are the highest income and foreign exchange earners from the agricultural sector. The other breeding programmes on root crops, pulses and vegetables are focused on food security and improved nutrition. Line evaluation is the most important plant breeding activity followed by line development.

There is a problem of rapid staff changes in Guyana with most of the qualified staff leaving for better and more lucrative jobs externally. The inadequate number of breeders for each crop is therefore the most limiting factor for success. Other major constraints are the lack of financial resources and the inadequate availability of laboratory infrastructure to carry out experiments using advanced plant breeding techniques.

Research and education institutes
with activities in plant breeding


National Agricultural Research Institute

National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI)
Website available in English

NARI was established as a semi autonomous research institution in 1984. NARI’s Plant Breeding programme from the inception was probably modest. Most of NARI’s earlier successful efforts have been with rice. Crop improvement is a thematic focus of several departmental projects.

Guyana Rice Development Board

Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB)
Website available in English

The GRDB is a semi-autonomous agency legally recognized in 1995. It conducts its breeding research on rice at the Burma Rice Research Station (BRRS). The main objectives of the varietal programme are: to develop superior rice varieties with high grain yield (8.0t/ha short term, 10t/ha long term), high quality, high milling yield, (55/70), blast resistance and tolerance to the major rice pests, and to maintain stocks of genetically pure seed of all commercial rice varieties.


Guyana Sugar Corporation Inc (GuySuCo)
Website available in English

GuySuCo was created in 1976 by the nationalization of the sugar estates operated by Booker Sugar Estates Limited and Jessels Holdings. The main business of GuySuCo is the cultivation of sugar cane and the production of sugar. The GUYSUCO main focus is in the breeding for favorable environments followed with near-equal importance the resistance/tolerance to abiotic and biotic stresses and quality traits.

Information by Azim Hosein (2009) - Information based on the Guyana's full report from the PBBC survey.
Last revised 31-07-2009, GIPB