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The Guyana Sugar Corporation Inc. (GuySuCo) would like to inform members of the media that preparations are currently underway for the Corporation to commence cultivating rice at the Wales Estate. This new area of diversification will be implemented through a partnership between GuySuCo and the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB). The details of the partnership arrangement are being developed and upon completion a statement will be made by the two partners.

The GRDB 10 variety of seed paddy will be grown and the GRDB 13 Aromatic rice is being considered as another variety to be cultivated at that location. Information relative to markets and other components relevant to the business plan will be released at a subsequent date.

It is important to note that GuySuCo’s interest in rice is as a component of an integrated commercial aquaculture production and processing project.  Therefore seed paddy cultivation is a part of the diversification programme and is a preparatory measure to support the aquaculture project. Nearly 60% of the cost of growing fish, for example, tilapia, can be the cost of the feed; as such, the  rice bran is being evaluated as an essential ingredient of the feed. Hence, the proposed rice project is not an end in itself but includes ultimately the production of bran for fish feed.

It should be noted that the Wales Estate has virgin land since rice is a new crop to be cultivated at that location and it is envisaged that the first crops would be grown for seed.

The proposal for rice is similar to proposals for aquaculture, to establish a commercial pilot of approximately 200 hectares.

It is envisaged that these operations would be components of an agriculture processing complex at the Wales Factory site that may also include, meat, dairy and fruit processing from multiple agriculture operation both from the estate lands as well as farms from the community.  These projects are designed to create jobs and new economic opportunities for the residents on the West Bank of Demerara.

GUYANA SUGAR CORPORATION INC.                                           October 14, 2016

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