Rice production increases despite El Nino weather conditions – Min. Mustapha

Guyana’s agriculture sector, specifically the rice industry continues to reap success despite the El Nino weather condition that is currently affecting the country.

In fact, the country has seen an increase in its production since the start of the year, Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha confirmed on Wednesday.

“Rice remains one of the main activities for us. Despite the El Nino condition that we are experiencing now and most of the year, we are still able to achieve our target that was set and even surpass it,” he said during an event at the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB), La Bonne Intention, East Coast Demerara.

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha at the event earlier in the week

The agriculture minister said the surplus is due to the renewed interest and cutting-edge measures that the GRDB has since put in place to improve the industry and increase its yield.

One of those measures includes the recent launch of a new bio-fortified rice variety which is enriched with zinc. Guyana is the first country in the Caribbean to have access to this new variety.

Prior to the launch, the agriculture ministry started the trial in Regions Three and Six.

Rice packaged and ready to be exported to other countries

According to the minister, this type of rice when cultivated, will indeed help farmers to increase their yield and will increase preferential prices around the world.

Meanwhile, noting that Guyana has an advanced rice industry compared to other countries, Minister Mustapha said the country is now helping Trinidad and Tobago to resuscitate its rice sector.

“Because of the plans, because of the programmes that we have implemented, we have seen GRDB helping places like Trinidad and Tobago that recently lost their rice industry. GRDB is helping that country to resuscitate its rice industry. And across the Caribbean, you will see more and more requests coming to GRDB,” the agriculture minister posited.

Moreover, many countries are coming on board and investing in Guyana’s agriculture sector since many opportunities are available here.