[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Rice Producers Association [RPA] has staged a protest in Anna Regina, Essequibo Coast in front the Guyana Rice Development Board [GRDB] office on Thursday morning (September 03), demanding government’s intervention into payments for rice farmers on the Essequibo Coast.
The protest, which included more than fifty rice farmers, was held in a peaceful manner on the public road.
Farmers were armed with placards that read “RPA want government to explain the loss of the Venezuela market”; “RPA demands the removal of all dishonest people from GRDB “; “RPA says do not cripple the hands that feeds the nation…Rice too big to go”; “RPA demands $23B allocated in budget speech be made available to pay farmers”; “RPA demands government intervention into payments for farmers”, among others.
The protesters walked from the GRDB’s office to the Regional Democratic council office several times calling for prompt payments and markets for their paddy which will be harvested within a next few weeks.
The RPA said the protest will continue over the coming weeks if the demands for farmers are not met as harvesting of more than 37,000 acres with rice intensifies.
Paddy production for the crop is expected to surpass 1.5 million bags. Some farmers said they have not received payments for their paddy sold several months ago. According to the farmers, the situation with prices and payments for paddy is a very serious issue in the Region and they are looking forward to the government’s intervention.