Govt anticipates new markets for rice in 2021

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Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha is confident that Guyana will attract new markets for rice exports as production yields climb.  

The Minister said Government is seeking to establish new market opportunities, and to increase exports to existing markets.

“We are seeing more interest in other parts of Asia and Europe. So, we are working on new markets and we will have new markets,” the Minister said.

He noted that rice exports to North America have increased tremendously with 3,624 tonnes being shipped to the US in 2020, from January to October, compared to the 453 tonnes sold for the same period last year.

Minister Mustapha said recent exports to the Caribbean also indicate that more persons are interested in Guyana’s rice. He expects that with the anticipated rice production in 2021, there will be sufficient supplies for new markets. 

The Ministry is also expecting tremendous yields next year from the new GRDB 16 rice variety.

That yield is in demand by many farmers and we anticipated 50 to 60 bags per acres. I am hoping that will also increase our production for 2021,” Minister Mustapha added.

He explained that the Ministry will continue to focus heavily on infrastructural works, particularly on drainage and irrigation.

To date, Guyana has earned US$194,310,882 in rice exports for the period January to October 2020. For the same period in 2019, it earned US$176,941,292.

Mr. Nizam Hassan, General Manager of the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB), had relayed to DPI that so far, the two crops have collectively produced some 1,052,000 tonnes of paddy with about 5,000 tonnes more projected to be harvested for the second crop.

Approximately 99 per cent of rice has been harvested to date, from the 94,000 hectares of rice sown for the second crop.