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Agri Minister hopes to increase Guyana’s rice production to almost 1.3 million metric tonnes by 2024



Rice cultivation in Guyana (Photo: GRDB)

Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha has revealed plans to increase rice production by almost 1.3 million metric tonnes by the end of next year.


In spite of issues with inconsistent weather in 2019, some 1,049,874 metric tonnes of paddy was produced. This figure is 8,254 tonnes short of the record 2015 production of 1,058,128 tonnes.


There are now hopes that Guyana can surpass both of these figures next year to set a new record for annual rice production. The Agriculture Minister made this announcement during an engagement with Pomeroon farmers.


“We always work with you because when you farm, when you produce, not only you benefit. The country benefits. That’s why we are looking to increase rice production. I am hoping, by the end of next year, we can increase rice production to almost 1.3 million tonnes of paddy in this country.”


The Minister further highlighted how he plans to assist farmers in achieving this.


“We will work with you to develop the infrastructure to make it more productive. We will bring out new varieties of paddy so that you can have better yield. And all those things we’ll work with because right now, as we are speaking, the world is in a crisis. And whilst we are consolidating, whilst we are expanding what we have, the traditional crops; rice, sugar, cash crop, fruits, vegetables – we are also diversifying.”


Guyana utilises large portions of rice produced for local consumption. However, Guyana exports rice to several countries, including Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Suriname, Antigua, Barbados, St. Lucia, Grenada, Dominica, and other nations that are a part of CARICOM.


Increased and diversified rice production also plays a role in the Government’s larger plan to increase food security within the Caribbean community.


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