By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Guyana’s Rice Producers Association (RPA) is outraged at the a decision taken by the APNU+AFC government to exclude its nominees from being Directors on the Boards for the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) and the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority (NDIA).
Guyana’s laws stipulate that the two Boards will consist of members from the RPA given the nexus to the rice sector. It states that the GRDB shall consist of three members from the RPA and the NDIA would have two representatives from the Body.
However, according to RPA President, Laekah Rambrich, the Body submitted names to Agriculture Minister, Noel Holder but was surprised the nominees were not selected.
“The RPA was shocked when the names of the Directors of the GRDB and the NDIA were made public and not a single member nominee put forward by the association was included on any of the two boards,” said Rambrich.
According to Rambrich, the move collides with Guyana’s laws and essentially leaves rice producers out in the cold from critical participation.
He said “what is most troubling is that this decision is clearly a deliberate attempt to marginalize and discriminate against the hundreds of rice farmers who are members of the RPA.”
Rambrich says that policy makers should see the reversal of this decision or at the very least, some alterations. A thorough perusal of the Directors of the Boards revealed that there were three representatives from the rice industry on the GRDB Board.
Those three include Rambrich, Jinnah Rahaman and Naith Ram. Both Rahaman and Ram are representatives of two different associations representing the interests of those in the rice sector.
However, the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority Board was bereft of any representatives from the rice industry.