‘GRDB 15’, the Guyana Rice Development Board’s latest paddy variety has been receiving rave reviews from farmers, following its launch last April.
One such farmer is Ganga Persaud of the Hague, Region Three who was also involved in the testing phase of the new variety before its release.
Persaud who has been cultivating rice for over 60 years is also one of GRDB’s contract-seedling farmers for over 20 years. Whenever new seedling varieties are produced for testing, Persaud would plant these with instruction and guidance from Burma Rice Research station personnel. He has always pushed to achieve the highest yields and quality of the product.
Persaud said he and his fellow rice farmers are very pleased with the performance and the high yielding results of this latest variety. He testified to the positives features of the GRDB 15 which forms part of his second crop.
“This magnificent variety has very good promise for the future of the rice industry. It germinates equally and easily, it grows well in deep water and it gains height very quickly. It has deep penetrating roots and coarse stems; also, a large spread of leaves and the pads on the panicles [seed heads] are compact and have an average of 217-227 grains,” he said.
According to Persaud the variety takes 5-20 days to complete flowering and can be harvested at 115 days old with the potential to yield 50 bags to 145 pounds and more per acre.
Persaud remarked that the intense work done at Burma research station is highly commendable. The farmer had some advice as it pertains making more farmers aware of the new rice variety.
“To propagate GRDB 15, this agency [GRDB] must sensitise more farmers to the usefulness of the variety. This means more fieldwork. Office work has its own results but field work yields the optimum in getting what you may be looking for. Rice farmers are enthusiastically committed to utilising this variety because of its yield factor and its favourable characteristics. But we must know if GRDB 15 has blast-resistant features and climate change compatibility,” Persaud said.
With regards to the grading and upgrading of the access dams in the Hague community, the farmer hopes that these vital services of the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority will be taken care of.
Persaud called for the collective support of all relevant persons and agencies to ensure the rice industry reaches its full potential.