By Staff Writer
Intent on ensuring Guyana’s agriculture sector remains a strong revenue earner, the government has disclosed its success in securing two more international markets for the nation’s rice. These efforts were had during the first half of 2021. The Finance Ministry noted that the two new international markets were established in the British Virgin Islands and Slovenia, with exports of 12 metric tonnes and 250 metric tonnes of rice, respectively set to be delivered. This has brought the total number of foreign markets to 37.
The Finance Ministry was also keen to note that other key initiatives have been pursued to continue the development of the industry. It said this included strengthened support to the farmers during the first half of the year. This also saw the designs of the soil and value-added laboratories, a national monitoring programme for paddy bug and red rice management demonstrations, along with the re-introduction of farmer’s field day and soil testing.
Further to this, the Ministry said the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) is providing technical advice on crop management to low-yielding farmers to increase their productivity of paddy cultivation. It said that construction of the drying floor commenced in Wakenaam with others in Riverstown, Cane Grove, De Hoop, Adventure, and No. 63 Village are also expected to be completed in the third quarter.
With respect to other initiatives, the Ministry said the strengthening of the post-harvest and value-added capabilities of the rice industry is underway while adding that the laboratory for experimental trials on value-added rice products is expected to be completed in October. In addition, research it said is being conducted on the storage duration of the GRDB 13 (Aromatic) which is expected to produce a variety of paddy with longer shelf life.
Further, the Burma Rice Research Station is continuing research on biofortification for zinc in rice to produce paddy with improved nutrients to curb nutrients deficiency.