Rice production for the first crop in 2017 is expected to surpass 220,000 acres. This is according to the Extension Manager of the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB), Kuldip Ragnauth. He said the first projection was for 210,000 acres.
Ragnauth told the Government Information Agency (GINA), that based on sowing that has been completed, year-end records will show that rice production has increased significantly.
“The target for this crop is 210,000 acres for this crop. That’s the acreage that has been sown. At this point in time that would have been surpassed, its over 220,000 acres that has been sown for the crop and that’s a good sign and it also has implications for rice production at the end of the year,” Ragnauth said.
Meanwhile rice is still being sown in the some regions even though the sowing period has passed. This is due to severe and intense rainfall during the month of December. The first crop sowing period is from mid-November to late December.
The Extension Manager noted that there are only two sowing crops in the year, the second, starts from mid May -and ends late June.
“The rains came sometime early December, as a consequence, (the crop) commenced in most of the regions during that time. In Region Six, it is actually because of the availability of water in November. … now sowing would have ended in Regions Two, Three and Four and it is continued on a small scale in Regions Five and Six,” Ragnauth explained.
Ragnauth added that research and extension activities to diversify the local rice varieties continue while the aromatic rice variety is being developed.
Region Five is currently in the stage of cultivating 3000 acres of the aromatic rice variety. Farmers, especially in Region Five are also being encouraged to plant the aromatic rice variety since private rice millers are offering incentives for rice paddy.
Guyana is currently exporting the local rice variety (GRDB 10) to thirty countries. However, there are also discussions with the government and other relevant officials of Mexico to secure additional rice markets in that country.