Mar 30, 2016 News
– Doerga reiterates country losing out in deal
The Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB), is contending that its agreement with two Jamaican companies, described by some as “corrupt”, will organize rice supplies to Jamaica and prevent under pricing.
The Guyana Rice Development Board recently signed the agreements with the Jamaica Rice Milling Company Limited and Musson (Jamaica) Limited. Both companies have agreed to import a total of 80,000 tonnes of rice from Guyana during 2016.
In a release issued yesterday, GRDB’s board expressed confidence that the export of rice from Guyana will almost double in 2016. It noted that in 2015, export of rice from Guyana to Jamaica was 48,000 tonnes.
“The agreements seek to organize the supply of rice to the Jamaican market and prevent under pricing and under invoicing by suppliers. The agreement allows the Jamaican companies to buy rice from licensed rice millers/exporters from Guyana. Minimum orders of 1,500 tonnes will be given to mills for export.”
“In addition to committing to import increased volumes of rice, the companies have also established a price schedule with the minimum price to be paid for white rice being US$ 400 per tonne.”
“Prior to the agreements, Guyanese exporters were receiving prices ranging from US$345 – US$ 370 per tonne. This means that Guyanese millers will earn an additional US$30-US$55 per tonne of rice exported to Jamaica, or an additional US$2.4 million – US$4.4 million annually.”
GRDB noted that with the increased price for rice, millers are expected to offer a higher price for paddy. They noted that for the first (spring) crop of 2016, some mills have been paying between G$ 2,200 (grade C) – G$ 2,700 (grade A) per bag of paddy.
“Millers have already begun to receive orders. One rice miller who has received a 3,000-tonne order, hailed the agreement as a very positive step in the development of the rice industry of Guyana, stating that he is very happy with the agreement that the GRDB has signed with the two companies in Jamaica.”
However, rice industrialist Dr. Turhane Doerga has expressed a completely different view of the arrangement. According to Doerga, the agreement just boxes Guyana into a detrimental deal, when the price for rice will be on the rise. In addition, he is decrying the fact that $500 would have been a better benchmark to negotiate for, but was not pursued.
Doerga is also questioning the fact that the deal has gone through without the knowledge of the GRDB. According to Doerga, to bypass the board of directors in signing the contract is a breach of the GRDB Act.
“I am challenging them. Let them come with the parent company. We will challenge it in court, if necessary.”
Doerga, in expressing his views of the situation yesterday, reiterated that the deal was an example of corruption in the agriculture sector. He also described the deal as another example of mismanagement.
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