Rice farmers throughout Guyana are still contemplating their next move, as they continue to face many challenges such as the extremely low prices for their produce, coupled with their expenses which keep piling up in the form of bills and loan repayments. The loss of the Venezuelan market is also having a tremendous negative impact on the industry.
Inews understands that the farmers on the islands of Leguan and Wakenaam, Essequibo, are faced with more difficulties on account of the dry weather conditions which are preventing planting for the present crop.
Reports reaching Inews indicate that Leguan is presently surrounded by salt water which is having an adverse effect on the agricultural sector on that island, compounded by the lack of rainfall. Many rice farmers are at a loss as to what they can do to sustain their livelihoods.
The lack of rainfall is also having a negative impact on the rice industry in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam).
Additionally, according to Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) Vice Chairman Sheik Inshan Ayube, most of the farmers have not been paid for the last crop of paddy despite the fact that they suffered major losses.
“Hardship for the farmers is prevailing on the island. They are wondering where the next dollar will come from,” Ayube said.
The APNU/AFC Government has come under severe fire over recent months from various segments of the population for its handling of the crisis currently facing the rice industry. Many believe that the Government has failed in terms of providing the necessary support to rice farmers.