Following reports from several farmers regarding difficulties with germinating a particular variety of seed paddy from the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB), the Ministry of Agriculture has disclosed that fair compensation will be provided.
The Ministry noted that the board produces approximately 25,000 bags of its GRDB 10 seed paddy annually at the Rice Research Station at Burma, Mahaicony, and another 5,000 bags using contract growers. Farmers purchase seeds from GRDB and also produce seeds too. The Ministry noted however that seeds purchased and used for the first crop for 2021 are experiencing poor germination issues. The difficulties are also being experienced with the GRDB 10 rice seeds purchased from some farmers across the country.
Even though it is prepared to provide compensation, GRDB said that the issue of poor germination was specific to the GRDB 10 since it was released in 2009. Consequently, the Board has been working towards developing new rice varieties with excellent germination and seedling vigour in field. To this end, the newer varieties (GRDB 14, GRDB 15, GRDB 16) have achieved this feat.
Currently, it is advisable to soak the GRDB 10 seeds for 18-24 hours and press in small pieces (to allow good air circulation), for 36 to 54 hours.
The GRDB was keen to note that its officers are working closely with farmers in providing technical advice towards better germination.