The Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) has entered into partnership with the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) to plant seed paddy at Wales Estate.
According to GINA, the partnership resulted from the GRDB’s continued research aimed to develop new rice varieties for local farmers.
GINA said that to avoid cross pollination, GuySuCo was approached by the GRDB to use land and other resources made available through the sugar company’s rationalisation plans.
Minister of Agriculture, Noel Holder, explained that Wales was chosen since there is no rice being grown in close proximity, thereby reducing possibilities of contamination by other varieties of rice.
According to the minister, the arrangement will not require GuySuCo to acquire new capital, but rather utilise lands and equipment which may otherwise be idle as the highly indebted company continues to be reorganised.
Further, the minister said the partnership is an opportunity for GuySuCo to earn much needed finances as it continues to work at finding a way out of heavy debts.
The Guyana Agriculture Workers Union (GAWU) had questioned whether the rice venture is another instance of “GuySuCo being penny-wise and pound-foolish”.
The Union had also accused GuySuCo of moving ahead with the rice venture without having any consultation with its members.