The Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) has revealed that export figures for 2017 have surpassed 2016 and are expected to surpass that of 2015. Exports for 2016 stood at 500,000, while as of December 18, 2017, exports were recorded at 535,843 tonnes with a value of about US$200,000,000.
General Manager of GRDB, Nizam Hassan related this while giving an overview of the entity’s commendable performance for 2017.
“Guyana’s rice sector performed excellent for 2017 in terms of both production and export. Export figures as at December 18th 2017 have surpassed the 2016 figures and are very close to surpassing the 2015 figures. Based on our projections, we are going to surpass the exports for 2015. This will mean that the export of rice products for 2017 would have been an all-time high. So far, exports for rice and rice products are recorded at 535,000 tonnes.” Hassan said.
As a result of an increase in global rice prices, the Board was able to enjoy an increase in its export earnings which also saw farmers benefiting from increased prices paid per bag of paddy. Export earnings for 2017 is almost US$200,000,000 as opposed to 2016 earnings which was GY$179,000,000.
The period also saw rice farmers across the country being able to receive higher prices for paddy. Farmers received up to $3,300 per bag of paddy as opposed to $3,000 per bag prior to the 2015 general election.
Agriculture Minister, Noel Holder in an invited comment express satisfaction at the work of the Rice board in not only guiding farmers to incorporate best practices, but took a lead role of quality control and pest and disease management.
He added that while much has been achieved in 2017, new approaches to be undertaken by the board will augur well for production and productivity.
Hassan also indicated that production figures were favourable despite several unavoidable challenges faced during the period. He added that Region 5 was the highest paddy producing region for 2017.
“With regards to production, so far 966,000 tonnes of paddy were produced – very close again to 2015 figures which were just over 1,000,000 tonnes. There are still a couple hundred acres of paddy to be harvested. All in all, the sector has performed well despite the challenges faced. The weather has often times been unfavourable to production. Pest and diseases were also challenging but these issues were addressed by the farmers based on the technical support of our field and extension staff. .” Hassan said.
Rice production by region are as follow;-
Region 5 – 201,552 tonnes of paddy as of December 18th
Region 6 – 95,000 tonnes,
Region 2 81,000 tonnes,
Region 3 40,000 tonnes and
Region 4 21,000 tonnes.
GRDB is also working towards increasing yields and securing more markets and better deals for Guyana’s rice and rice products in the coming year.