Guyana surpasses 2012 rice production target

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Saturday December 29, 2012 – Guyana has produced 420,000 tonnes of rice so far this year, surpassing the target of 412,000 tonnes, according to official figures released here.

Last year production figures were 402,000- tonnes.

“The rice sector has also done exceptionally in export as well as the Ministry of Agriculture also reported that more than 300,000 tonnes of locally grown rice was sold to other countries.  The rice export earning now stands at US$176 million and has the potential to increase by US$20 million by the end of December 2012,” the Ministry of Agriculture said in a statement.

It added that should the current export figures increase, this could be yet another significant milestone for the country; considering that in 1970, production stood at 145,000 tonnes of which only 59,000 tonnes was exported.

The Ministry of Agriculture said that to further appreciate the magnitude of the progress of the local rice industry, farmers, to date, have harvested more than 96 per cent of paddy sowed on 142,038 hectares of land.

“Harvesting could have been at 100 per cent for the year, however, the first crop of approximately 4,000 ha was affected by flooding in some rice cultivating areas,” the statement said, noting that “given the amount of rain that fell and the floods that resulted in the first crop, this is indeed a remarkable achievement by Guyana’s rice farmers”.

Over the last three years, Venezuela has been the major export market for Guyana’s paddy and rice, accounting for approximately 60 per cent of total export and the statement said “while this is a very good trade for the country, the Ministry of Agriculture intends to continue rice exports to traditional markets in Europe and CARICOM countries like, Jamaica and Trinidad”. (CMC) Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)