;trials to commence within the next two months
A team from the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and MAX Agri Commerce of Malaysia representing the Malaysian Agriculture Research & Development Institute (MARDI) met with officials of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) to give an overview and update on the implementation of a Reverse Linkage Project between Guyana and Malaysia to further develop the rice industry.
The project, which is jointly financed by IsDB, MARDI and the Government of Guyana was approved by the Bank in September 2018, and has two pillars, will see Malaysian rice experts bringing eight varieties of rice in three categories (high yielding, aromatic and salt tolerant) for adaptation trials at the Burma Rice Research Station within the next two months. Additionally research on downstream/value added products of rice will also be done.
During the meeting, the team discussed the implementation of the project. A Joint Coordination Committee and a Project Management Unit were identified to ensure effective implementation of the project.
While engaging the representatives, Agriculture Minister, Noel Holder said that projects of this nature are encouraged as they support the introduction of innovative rice varieties that have proven to be more resilient and will significantly increase rice yields.
The team also conducted site visits to a rice mill and GRDB’s Rice Research Station at Burma to get a clearer understanding of Guyana’s commercial rice products, to discuss future collaborations with local farmers and to identify possible project sites for the production trials. The team also facilitated A start-up workshop was organised to develop a platform to finalize the details necessary to implement the project.
Officials from the Bank noted that the bank’s objective in Guyana is to facilitate the engagement between the Government of Malaysia through their private sector and the government of Guyana to promote South-South Cooperation modality.
Guyana became a full member of the Islamic Development Bank in 2017 and the 2018-2020 work programme was agreed to when a mission from the Bank visited Guyana in 2017.
The visiting team comprised of Mr Aminuddin Bin Mat Ariff, Regional Coordinator (Asia), Reverse Linkage Country Partnerships and Cooperation Islamic Development Bank, Mr Zalman Yaacob bin Zulkifli, Representative of MAX Agri Commerce Sdn. Bhn., Mr Zulkefli Mohamad, Chairman, Technical Committee on Halal Management System under Standards Malaysia and Mr Muhammad Hawari Hassan, Senior Assistant Director, Malaysia Halal Council, JAKIM.
Also present at the meeting were GRDB’s General Manager, Nizam Hassan, Deputy General Manager Allison Peters and Chief Technical Officer, Ministry of Agriculture, George Jervis.