Guyana rice production soars – GRDB Chief Scientist
Chief Scientist and plant breeder at the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB), Dr. Mahendra Persaud said Guyana’s rice industry has been steadily increasing in yield and productivity.
Though a small country, Guyana has been making strides in its production; much higher than many developed and highly populated countries.
At six tonnes per hectare, Guyana’s productivity is listed at number 12 among rice producing nations.
During a recent discussion on the future of rice, which aired on the National Communications Network, Dr Persaud said the rice industry has grown over time.
“Maybe 15 to 20 years back, our productivity would have been like four tonnes per hectare and now our national average is six tonnes per hectare. So, we are moving,” he noted.
Dr. Persaud said he sees Guyana’s national average moving to eight tonnes per hectare in the near future. That increase will position the country on a greater economic pathway.
Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Madanlall Ramraj who was also part of the discussion, said rice production has made a huge leap over the past 20 years. Between 2000 and 2020, production jumped from some 450,000 tonnes to over one million tonnes. The same has been seen for export, which in 2000 was 257,000 tonnes. Today it is over 500,000 tonnes.
“The Government sees rice, and agriculture, as one of the pillars of the economy. We must also recognise that our being here is what brought agriculture to Guyana and it is here to stay. Our Minister has been emphasising that we can have all the natural resources, they will come and go, but Agriculture and the rice industry is here to stay and will form the pillar of economic development in the country,” he said.