The Guyana Rice development Board (GRDB) is currently investigating reports of ‘fake’ seed paddy being distributed to farmers within the rice growing regions. Agriculture Minister Noel Holder today disclosed this to the Government Information Agency (GINA).
Comments had surfaced in some sections of the media that alleged fake seed paddy were distributed to farmers in Region Two – Pomeroon/Supenaam resulting in losses to the farmers.
The Minster explained that it should be noted that no other such reports have been received from the other rice producing regions – 3, 4, 5 and 6. However, it should be noted that the bond where the seed paddy is stored in Region Two is owned by the Rice Producers Association (RPA).
The GRDB has disclosed that from its investigations it found that the RPA also contracts farmers to produce and distribute seed paddy.
Investigations also revealed that the quality of the seed paddy which is produced by the GRDB Rice Research and Extension Station, Burma Mahaicony, is not the same which is being distributed to farmers after is it collected from the station. This has raised several questions within the GRDB since it is suspected to have been happening for some time now.
Technical advisers within the GRDB have opined that the inferior quality can be a direct result from bad storage. Investigations will continue into these reports and the findings will be made public subsequently.