[www.inewsguyana.com] – The lawns of State House at Anna Regina were over crowded as hundreds of rice and other farmers from across the coast gathered on Tuesday morning (April 14) for a special meeting with Former President Bharrat Jagdeo to address several issues in the rice industry on the Essequibo Coast.
Jagdeo informed the millers of the Petro-Caribe deal that Guyana has with Venezuela but warned them that it has nothing to do with rice. He said that contrary to claims being circulated, the government has not misused the funds acquired from the deal.
Jagdeo said the only money that was used from the loan was US$15M to construct the Hope Canal on the East Coast to divert water to the Atlantic Ocean.
Jagdeo told those gathered that the best system for the rice industry is a bidding system for quotas of rice. He said the system will be introduced shortly.
The former President also promised that the matter concerning payments will also be looked at urgently along with the grading system. He said farmers are faced with two sets of problems; the first has to do with the rapid growth in the volume of rice produced in the country which is over 600,000 tons from 100,000 tons 20 years ago.
The second problem is the issue of payment as he noted that even farmers when they sell their paddy do not get a proper remuneration price.