Jan 23, 2011 Letters Comments Off on Rice farmers need their money
What more can I say? When it’s the weather, it’s pricing and when it’s not that, it’s us farmers being put under pressure due to non-payment from the Mahaicony Rice Mill (MRL).
We the rice farmers in Guyana sometimes face difficult moments like we are right now with such nonpayment. This is really taking a toll on us and pushing us to the limit. I wish to bring this to your attention and more and call on the authorities to continue their efforts in dealing with this matter aggressively.
I have been a rice producer for over 30 years and I can tell you that rice farming is not easy work, especially those disciplined farmers who put all their efforts in production and proper agronomic practices. But when we are faced with such treatment, we feel it hard since the invested monies come from our pockets. Hence the reason I call on the authorities to continue their efforts in relieving us farmers from this stress.
We know that the arrangement was private between MRL and farmers, but we now seeking intervention by the regulatory body of the industry. Our investments are being taken advantage of and we are indeed getting impatient with the MRL. I have heard enough stories from the MRL – from the security guard at Mahaicony right up to the Manager, whom no one seems to locate.
Recently a team from the Guyana Rice Development Board and the Ministry of Agriculture came to visit us to discuss this matter of non-payment and I am very pleased with their efforts but more needs to be done. Farmers are being owed monies for over one year now and we are not even receiving a call from MRL. What kind of demon is running this place? The sad thing is that some of us don’t even know what Jai Beni looks like.
We need our payment to go into the next crop and to maximize our production. As it is, 2010 was the most successful year for rice and if non-payment issues such as this are in the air for too long, that could change production this year.
MRL, please make an effort to pay us our monies. This is getting over bearing and our patience is running out.
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