[www.inewsguyana.com] – To date, there has been a six percent increase in rice exports for 2015 in comparison to the same time period last year, according to a release from the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB).
According to the release, statistics for 2015 show 437,448 tonnes of rice being exported in comparison to 412,220 tonnes for the same period last year. With just two months remaining in 2015, Acting General Manager of the GRDB, Nizam Hassan is confident that 2015 will be another successful year for the industry.
“We are very confident that the exports of rice and rice products will pass 2014’s fare,” Hassan said in the release, noting that that private exporters have commitments for the export 220,000 tonnes of rice over the next several months.”
He noted that GRDB is assuring rice farmers that their paddy will be sold and that measures will be put in place to ensure they are paid in a timely manner.
Hassan said “the GRDB has a responsibility to ensure, support and encourage millers to pay their farmers. However, it is largely a private arrangement but because of the law that exists, millers have 42 days to pay their farmers.”
It was noted that government will continue to be proactive in its role in ensuring rice farmers are paid in a timely manner.
However, in highlighting the challenges farmers face in receiving payment, Hassan explained that many millers had purchased paddy with the expectation of receiving higher prices than they are currently receiving.
“When Guyana was exporting to Venezuela we were getting US $780 per tonne of white rice,” Hassan pointed out. The price previously offered by Venezuela is almost double that of the world market price which averages at US $390 per tonne. Presently Guyana has agreed to sell its white rice between US $335 TO US $400 per tonne while parboil rice sells for as much as US $600 per tonne.
In July of this year, GRDB officials visited and it was discovered that there were 876 containers (two shipments) of Guyana’s rice that had not been removed from the wharf. The backlog of Guyana’s rice on Venezuela’s wharf was only cleared four months after.
The release noted that GRDB continues to work closely with all stakeholders to ensure there is no undue disruption to rice exports and unnecessary hardships endured to rice farmers.
Don’t mislead the farmers of Guyana. We will see what will happen when the left over deals from the past government dries up. With this “increase in rice exports” why is the Minister of Agriculture and the new rice marketer Nagamootoo absent from this story. After stretching his hands and collecting an MDG award on behalf of former Minister Leslie Ramsammy, by way of Guyana, Mr Noel Holder probably is now embarrassed to take the kudos a second time. Any “increased rice exports” for 2015 is beacuse of negotiations and signed contracts that were already in place by the past PPP government. The truth must told.