By Tracey Khan – Drakes
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Ministry of Agriculture and the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRBD) have launched two new rice brands under the name: GRBD 14 and Maria’s delight Aromatic rice.
The two rice brands were developed locally at the Burma Rice Research Station in Mahaicony and the Maria’s delight is the first aromatic rice variety that has been produced locally by Guyanese.
At the launching ceremony on Wednesday, February 11 at the International Conference Center, Chief Scientist/Plant Breeder of the GRBD, Dr. Mahendra Persaud, explained that the Rice Board needs to continue in their production of new rice varieties if they are to establish new markets for export.
He further noted that the new aromatic rice brand is less susceptible to attacks from pests and disease and was produced with significant resistance level.
Dr Persaud explained that the science in rice production continues to change and in order to remain relevant, the GRDB has keep up and adapt with the changes taking place globally.
He explained that much progress has been made to develop rice brands that are more resistant and they will continue in this direction to develop the rice industry in Guyana.
Meanwhile, President Donald Ramotar delivering the feature address at the launch noted that the future of the local rice industry depends on the progress of the aromatic rice brands. The President believes that the sustainability of the industry depends on the production.
“We have to recognize that we are a small player on the international market and we are price takers as was mentioned just now and we don’t determine international prices and therefore it means that we have to do things in order to make sure our viability.”
He called for more efficiency in the industry; stressing that only then can its true potential be realized.
“We cannot be satisfied with what we have. We have to continuously build on it and develop it and take it even further…we have to constantly look at new revenue stream,” the President said.