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The Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) announced that there will be a new rice variety on the market before the 2018 second crop.

During a recent interview, GRDB’s Deputy General Manager, Allison Peters indicated that scientists at the Board’s Rice Research Station at Burma have been working tirelessly to develop this new variety and that, once released, it will see farmers benefiting from better yields among other improved characteristics.

“Our scientist at Burma have been working on this new variety for some time. We want to ensure that when it is released, it is of the quality and standard required by farmers to increase their production among other things. This strand is expected to be more resistant to pests and diseases while offering higher yields, better grain durability and higher market demand. We have undergone several levels of testing to ensure that we bring something tremendous to the market.” Peters said.

Earlier in the year, there were minor issues with poor germination. However, the issues were quickly handled with a complete revamp in management tactics which saw the station producing over 24,000 bags of seed paddy.

 “The revamped tactics implemented at the Research Station has allowed the station to produce over 24,000 bags of quality seed paddy .Given the quality and high demand for seed paddy, at one point we were not able to supply all the farmers’ needs.” Peters added.

Additionally, it was revealed that 54 mills were registered during the year. As such, rice farmers are encouraged to take their paddy to registered mills to benefit from standardised grading. Often farmers expressed disgust at the grading scheme used by some millers hence the move by the Rice Board to have the system revamped.

The research station is also looking to enhance its value added inputs, with the expansion of its rice flour mixtures in 2018. Thus far, the mixture comprises of 80% wheat flour and 20% rice flour which has been successfully incorporated at major food outlets and bakeries.

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