– Guyana expected to surpass target for rice production this year
There is a high demand for Guyana’s rice on the international market due to the shortage of the commodity globally.
During the sidelines of a community meeting on Wednesday at Salem Koker, Region Three, Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha affirmed that there is no scarcity of rice in the country; in fact, Guyana is set to exceed the 2023 rice production target, as farmers continue to use a variety of cutting-edge methods.
“We are getting additional requests now for new markets from places like Spain and other European countries. Because countries that normally produce rice and grain on a large scale would have scaled down in terms of exporting. So, they are looking to countries like our country and so,” the minister explained.
Already, Guyana has produced 50 per cent of the 964,000 tonnes of paddy expected this year.
“This other crop is normally bigger. I am hoping that we will surpass the target because we know for a fact that a number of rice-producing countries around the world would have withdrawn their rice, like India and so, we will have more demand. But I am very optimistic that we will surpass this year’s rice production.”
Minister Mustapha remains optimistic that favourable weather conditions will prevail for the yield to increase, as the prognosis is excellent from the extension officers.
Government is also assisting farmers to ensure they have better access to rice fields, by preparing access dams.
“I am expecting the yield to increase from 5.9 [tonnes per acre] to further up. If that happens, then, we will surpass our target in a larger way… Reaping has started in some areas and regions already, but on a very small scale. In another three weeks from now, the reaping will ramp up and then we will see production,” Minister Mustapha underscored.