– despite La Nina conditions earlier this year
Guyana on Friday achieved its highest ever first crop target in the rice industry, despite heavy rains earlier this year, the Ministry of Agriculture says.
According to Minister of Agriculture, Robert Persaud, figures from the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) has shown that rice production for the first crop (spring crop) was 202,077 metric tonnes (mt). This is equivalent to 4,894,270 bags paddy… surpassing the highest first crop of 1999 which stood at 189,565mt of rice or 4,689,138 bags of paddy.
Guyana’s highest annual rice production ever was in 1999 with a production of 365,469mt; followed by 2010 with 361,527mt. With a bumper first crop of this year it is anticipated that the annual production for 2011 will surpass all the previous years’ production. The target for this year is approximately 400,000 mt, which again will be the highest ever, the Ministry said.
Heavy rains had threatened more than 20,000 acres of rice but losses were minimized. The Agriculture Minister attributed the increase in production to the investments made in the drainage and irrigation sector, rice research and the resilience of farmers and other stakeholders within the rice industry.
The industry has been attempting to find new markets as production rose significantly over the past few years after a slump.
Recently, in the fourth one of its kind, Guyana signed a major US$40M-plus agreement with neighbouring Venezuela to supply that country with rice and paddy.
Several other markets including Colombia, is being explored while existing ones in Trinidad and Jamaica are being expanded.
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