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Post Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:32 pm

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The Story within the Story… By Leonard Gildarie As uneasiness continues within the rice industry over outstanding payments and prices for paddyLeonard Gildarieduring this ongoing crop, last week we started to examine the situation.It was noted that the dramatic increase in rice production within the last few years due to high yields and more land under cultivation have been posing a major problem for Guyana – what to do with the extra rice.Finding new markets and competing with the international ones have been a major headache. Like I said before, anybody can plant rice…it is what price you will be receiving that counts,Jerseys NFL Wholesale, as ultimately the farmers are the ones who will be feeling the squeeze.This week I had asked the regulatory body, the Guyana Rice Development Board, to provide some figures but nothing yet. It is pointless asking the Ministry of Agriculture. You can’t even get what the coconut exports are. I am trying to determine the big secret for that, months after pestering them and getting nowhere. They are our representatives, but the officials there run the Ministry like it is their personal business. I will keep quiet on this for now.As a side note, I have been asked why I would want to tackle rice. I am no expert but I have many friends and family involved in the business. I have had the opportunity as a journalist to rub shoulders with many business persons, but perhaps the best of the lot for me are the rice farmers. They are simple folks who would take the shirts off their backs if asked.  Most of them live from crop to crop. They are hospitable people who worry about the vagaries of the weather and price and don’tAn aerial view of a local rice mill.mind the mud and the dangers.It is difficult to describe these people except to say they are very resilient. It has not been an easy time for them. You can produce the best rice crop, but the price and the frustrating wait for the monies from the millers have been producing major stumbling blocks to their livelihoods and development.According to a draft report, Guyana Rice Supply Chain Risk Assessment of May 2010, done by the EU and the ACP countries, in 2008, the rice sector contributed three percent of the gross domestic product (GDP),NFL Jerseys China Cheap, 15 percent of total exports and earned US$114M.GRDB has also published its annual reports online from 2006 to 2013.According to the 2013 report, GRDB’s Mission Statement is “To efficiently utilize the resources of Guyana to produce and market high quality rice, rice by-products including value-added products, for local and international markets, providing employment and foreign exchangeA tremendous amount has been invested by the stakeholders in the industry.earnings.”GRDB’s Chairman Badrie Persaud noted in his remarks for 2013 that the favourable Venezuelan market can be considered one of the driving forces in the rice industry in recent years. Guyana rice, he says, enjoys a higher price in this market compared to the traditional European and Caricom markets.“The sustainability of the Venezuelan market will be a key factor for continued success in the future of the local rice industry.” He did caution, however, that over-reliance on this market could pose a high risk to the industry if there is any adverse fluctuation in the current arrangement. To ensure its success,Austin Hooper Falcons Jersey, the local rice industry will have to find alternatives in production methodologies and inputs in efforts to reduce overheads and related production costs.GRDB said it started, as one of the initiatives in 2013, to import a shipment of 7,000 metric tonnes (mt) of rice/140,000 bags of urea fertilizer, which was sold to farmers at $5000 per bag, compared to $7,000 per bag sold by traders, as part of the measures to help farmers. According to General Manager, Jagnarine Singh, 2013 was a record-breaking year, with production and exports surpassing the budgeted amount.Production for the year was recorded as 535,555 (mt) of rice – 30% above the budgeted amount of 413,031 mt.  The 2013 production represented a 27% increase over the 422,058 mt produced in 2012.He said that this was the first time in history that Guyana’s rice industry surpassed half a million tonnes in production, which was a superlative achievement,NFL Jerseys Wholesale, considering the many inhibitory factors impeding rice farmers – not least the variables in weather patterns caused by the climate change phenomenon.There was an actual export of 334,Wholesale Jerseys China,140mt for 2012. The value of exports during the period in review was also the highest in the history of the industry -At the end of the year it was US$293M compared with the budget amount of US$170,922,000, and with the actual value of US$196M for 2012 exports.The executive was cognizant of the role played by those in the industry, but moreso by the farmers, who demonstrated remarkable resilience in the face of bad weather conditions, including floods and extended dry periods, and high levels of paddy bug infestation.Last week we pointed out that the Venezuela rice deal was a boon to Guyana, helping to spur increased production and growth. But the situation is changing. There is evidence now that they are paying less for rice and paddy being supplied. Internal conflicts in that neighbouring country will eventually force Guyana to diversify its markets as much as possible. There are no indications that Venezuela will stop taking rice from Guyana anytime soon unless the festering border claims flare up again. We will have to keep monitoring the prices they are giving us.It is good news that we are looking to Caricom markets and even Africa to take off the extra rice we are producing. However, we have to take precautions not to undercut ourselves. The farmers will need a good deal. It makes no sense to ask people to plant rice and they can’t take home a profit to the family. Unless, of course, we ask farmers to plant less.Next week,Cheap NFL Football Jerseys, we examine the Venezuela deal in more details. In the meantime, as we approach the Easter weekend, be safe, don’t fly the kites too close to those wires. And do continue to drop those emails to [email protected] or call weekdays on 225-8491.

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