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…2021 budget to support these plans
Over the next years, the PPP/C Administration expects a “dramatic increase” in rice production in Guyana with the intention that the crop will remain a “mainstay” in Guyana’s agricultural input.
In the presentation of Budget 2021 to the National Assembly on Friday, Senior Minister in the Office of the President with Responsibility for Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh said that the Government will therefore match its investment with its intention for the crop.
Investments will go towards enhanced research and development, the adoption of new technologies, promotion of new high yielding varieties, and improvements to irrigation and drainage and farm to market roads.
Dr. Singh announced: “In 2021, six drying floors will be constructed in strategic rice-producing locations to provide much-needed support to farmers in Regions 2, 3, 5 and 6 and a soil laboratory will be established to facilitate efficient and economic production of paddy.”
Guyanese can also expect this year to see investment into getting rid of paddy bugs. Back in 2020, the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) had reason to injected GYD$2.6M into tackling the paddy bug infestation plaguing rice cultivating regions in Guyana.
The funds were used to purchase insecticides, in addition to the cost attached to carry out spraying in all rice-producing Regions.
According to Minister Singh, more investments will go into ridding rice crops of the bug to ensure that rice farmers can reap the benefits of their labour.
Also, a post-harvest value-added department will be established at the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) and physical and sensory analyses will be conducted for shelf-life studies for rice and rice-based food products.
Dr. Singh stated: “Mr. Speaker, these initial steps will position the rice industry to gain the momentum needed to achieve its targeted growth in the medium term.”
For the period January to October 2020, Guyana earned US$194,310,882 in rice exports. For the same period in 2019, it earned US$176,941,292.