Govt may consider concessions for rice farmers – Holder

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By Jomo Paul

Minister of Agriculture, Noel Holder addressing farmers and millers at the National Rice Industry Conference
Minister of Agriculture, Noel Holder addressing farmers and millers at the National Rice Industry Conference

[www.inewsguyana.com] – Agriculture Minister Noel Holder has revealed that the government may consider the option of providing rice farmers with certain concessions.

The considerations will be made given that preparations for the 2016 Fiscal budget are high in gear under the new APNU+AFC administration.

Holder made the comment following mass protests by rice farmers on the Essequibo coast.

The calls for concessions came from Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) Parliamentarian and Guyana Rice Producers Association (GRPA) General Secretary Dharamkumar Seeraj while the protests were being waged.

Holder told reporters on Monday September 28, that consideration would certainly be given to such an advent.

“Certainly our budgets are being prepared, certainly these things could be incorporated if they are considered to be necessary of a requirement,” said Holder.

Rice farmers protesting
Rice farmers protesting [File Photo]
However, the Minister was quick to add that any decision taken will not be done to satisfy the whims and fancies of any one person.

“When you are doing a development plan you really have to put things to benefit for the long term and not to satisfy the whims and fancies of anyone or a temporary problem which may come back to affect you,” he stated.

“If everybody has duty free concessions, the rice farmers, cane cutters, the gold miners, even the people that make shoes you really begin to place a tremendous hold in the country development,” said Holder.

Presently the Guyana Government provides a high degree of concessions to the mining sector with calls being made for more concessions in light of dropping gold prices internationally.

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