[www.inewsguyana.com] – With the rice industry set to begin its peak harvesting season by the end of September, another large crop is expected, according to Agriculture Minister Dr. Leslie Ramsammy.
He explained that arrangements being made to ship about 10,000 tonnes monthly to Africa, through a trade group. The focus is currently on premium markets and as production increases, the regular priced market will be tapped into, he said.
There is also a renewed focus on value added products such as cereals and even paddy husk, formerly discarded as waste product, will be utilised to see maximum use of all products and by-products. As part of this effort, the Agriculture Ministry is in partnership with The Energy and Research Institute of India and the Institute of Applied Science and Technology, locally.
The minister said initiatives have been put in place to address the challenges faced by farmers with low yielding fields.
As part of a six – point plan, Minister Ramsammy explained that there are no interactions between the high producing farmers and their low- yield counterparts so that ideas can be exchanged with the goal of upping crop production.
“We want to determine what are the reasons, why your neighbour has a high yield and you’re having low yields. It couldn’t be the soil because you both are on the same soil”.
Dr. Ramsammy said the local market consumes 120,000 tonnes, annually, the bulk of which is returned to the fields as seed material, while some is also used in stock feed and beverage production. The high crop production means that there must be markets found for 500,000 tonnes of rice.
[Extracted and modified from GINA]