The Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) is encouraging more millers to become licensed for the year 2018. Currently, only twenty-three (23), of the fifty-nine (59) mills licensed last year, are licensed for this year. Failure to do so will result in prevention of export on the Government of Guyana’s contracts.
Deputy General Manager of the GRDB, Allison Peters said mills should only purchase paddy or mill rice, providing that they’re licensed and are on the updated licensed mills’ list.
“I must say is that the GRDB has a policy that any mill that is not licensed is not allowed to export on the Government of Guyana’s contracts. In other words, we do not deal with you in terms of ensuring that you get a part of the government’s contract which is open to all mills once they’re licensed. Once you’re not abiding by the law we cannot do business with you and we encourage farmers not to do business with any unlicensed mills if they do so they do so at their own risk.”
The process of licensing, according to the Deputy General Manager, varies on the status of the mills, which are established mills and new mills.
Established mill owners would simply have to reapply to the rice board for their license. This would see the GRDB conducting checklist inspections of the building to ensure it is in keeping with the rules and regulations stipulated. Once a certain percentage is attained, the owners pay the required fee and become licensed.
For new mills, the owners must possess an environmental permit from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), proof of ownership of the land and the building, and fire permits to show that it’s a safe established place. They must then submit an application to the Ministry of Housing to ensure that all land development and all rules for housing are in place, finally, they must apply to the GRDB for permission to get a license and once approved, they must pay the fees.
The fees are based on the mill’s production capacity.
Rice range Fees per year
Zero to two tonnes $50,000
Five but below ten tonnes $160,000
Ten tonnes and over $200,000
The GRDB is a semi-autonomous agency under the Ministry of Agriculture that regulates and provides services to the rice industry. Services provided by the GRDB include the extension, quality control, export facilitation and research, while regulation takes the form of licensing millers, exporters, license graders and ensuring compliance with the relevant laws and regulations.
Below is the Guyana Rice Development Board Act that regulates the marketing and export of paddy, rice among others.
Guyana Rice Development Board Act
- The Board may, on the payment of such fees as may be prescribed by the Minister by regulations, grant a licence to any manufacturer, or any other person who proposes to carry on the business of export of paddy or rice or any other product of paddy, to carry on that business.
- The licence shall be in such form and subject to such terms and conditions, as may be prescribed by the Minister by regulations.
- No person shall, export paddy or rice or any other product of paddy unless he is the holder of a licence granted by the Board under this section for carrying on the business of its export.