Region Five to play key role in doubling Guyana’s rice production

– Minister Mustapha

Guyana will be looking to double its rice production in the next five years and Mahaica- Berbice (Region Five) will play a major role in achieving this goal.

This was disclosed by Minister of Agriculture Hon. Zulfikar Mustapha as he addressed farmers and residents of Dundee Mahaicony, while on an outreach to the Region on Saturday.

Minister Mustapha addresses farmers at Dundee

 “Region Five is the largest rice producing area in our country, and we want to develop more lands for the farmers, that means we have to make more investment, because we are looking in the next five years to double rice production in our country,” the Minister said.

Guyana currently produces more than one million tonnes of paddy.

That mean we have to open up more lands in the MMA scheme and other parts of the country, but if we have to reach that figure that I’m talking about, Region Five has to play the most important role because it has the potential to get the land so that we can produce that amount of rice,” Minister Mustapha said.

Minister Zulfikar Mustapha interacts with farmers at Dundee, Mahaicony

Meanwhile, the minister said the Agriculture Ministry will be looking for new rice markets over the next few months.

“We are working now to look at additional markets for the farmers because if we want to have increased production, we have to have additional markets and we have to have markets that are paying good prices,” Minister Mustapha said.

The minister reiterated the importance of agriculture in the development of Guyana despite the emergence of the oil and gas sector.

“The agriculture sector is a very important sector for food security in our country; over the years, all our development, most of our revenue are coming from the agriculture sector. We talking about sugar, rice other crops,” he said.

Minister Mustapha added that the Government will continue to put resources into the agriculture sector and that farmer-friendly policies are in place to encourage people to enter the sector.

The minister noted that farmers issues will be addressed and large projects will be noted an included in the 2021 budget. Within a week an Excavator will be dispatched to the area to clear the canals in the area and resolve the drainage issues to prepare the farmers for the new crop.