Guyana to start shipment of rice to Venezuela shortly


[] – A team from the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) led by the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy, concluded negotiation of the 2015 Rice Contract with Venezuelan Authorities this week.

According to a statement from the Ministry, Minister Ramsammy and his team had intensive discussion with their colleagues in Caracas and agreed on the terms for shipment of rice to Venezuela, with shipment to coincide with the beginning of the harvesting of the first crop of 2015.

It was noted that the first harvesting is about to begin and the first shipment to Venezuela will take place just before harvesting gets into full gear.

The Ministry explained that Venezuela will purchase an amount similar to the 2014 amount, which is close to 200,000 tons of paddy and rice. The 2015 amount with a variation in the proportions of rice and paddy will amount to about the same amount as 2014.

The price for paddy and rice agreed on will also be similar to 2014.   It was noted that in 2014, exports to Venezuela accounted for about 34% of the total production of rice in Guyana.

“It is expected that export in 2015 will be about 30% of production, even though the actual amount will be approximately the same. This is because we expect a bigger production in 2015,” the statement noted.

Minister of Agriculture, Dr Leslie Ramsammy

According to the Ministry, with increased export to the regular markets, newer markets in Central America and Africa will be added to the increasing destinations for Guyana’s rice.

“In 2015, local consumption will see a dramatic increase. The rice cereal factory in Essequibo will be operational by the second crop. In addition, a rice flour factory will become operational also by the second crop this year. Already, we have identified an export market for rice flour.”