As of May 7, the rice industry has harvested 86 percent of its 2018 production. This is equivalent to 75,137 hectares of the 87,538 hectares sown and is a significant increase in production from 310,748 tonnes earlier in the year to 448,926 tonnes.
General Manager of the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB), Nizam Hassan highlighted the areas that have improved, noting that the first crop was a success and the performance will continue growing from 2017.
“What we have seen in the first crop, generally there has been improved productivity issues such as pests and disease were managed, farmers were being paid faster than previous crops, prices paid were improved from previous crops, as $3000 per bag of paddy. The first crop faired very well and we are very optimistic going ahead for the second crop. This kind of performance trend will just continue, we have seen this since the second crop of 2017,” Hassan said
With the increase of this production from January to April 2018 there has also been an increase in exports, which sees sales increasing by over US$10Million. Hassan compared the current production to that of 2017, noting that the increase is credited to the exploration of new markets.
“For the period January to April 2018, we exported 139,501 tonnes valued at US$57.7Million compared to 120,811 tonnes valued at US$47Million for the corresponding period of 2017. So, I’m talking about the first four months of 2018 compared with the first four months of 2017, in terms of the volume, that’s about 15 percent more we’ve exported. The increases in the exports have primarily come of course from new markets that we’ve been exporting to.”
One such new market is Mexico, which Guyana began exporting to in 2017, ending that year with 113,525 tonnes of paddy shipped. For this year up until May, 61,350 tonnes have been exported. The aforementioned combined with 2017’s amount saw 174,875 tonnes valued at US$51.4Million being exported so far.
Most regions have harvested over 78 percent of its cultivation so far.
The updated harvest as of May 7, 2018 is as follows:
Region Paddy Production (M/T) Percentage of hectares harvested
Region 2 76,836.8 96.3%
Region 3 43,422.8 97.8%
Region 4 366,126.5 96.7%
Region 5 3,069,376.5 82.7%
Region 6 1,724,427.0 79.1%
Region 9 14,227.2 100.0%
Guyana’s rice industry continues to grow and is an important part of the country’s agricultural industry. The GRDB continues to make efforts towards the development of the rice industry to increase production. Recently, they released “GRDB 15” a new paddy variety holding positive characteristics which could see the rice industry benefiting in a number of ways.