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The state-owned, Guyana Rice Development Board owes rice farmers some US$10M for rice and paddy supplied to them and the Rice Producers Association (RPA) is calling on the government to immediately address the problem.
In a statement, which for most part praised the Irfaan Ali administration, the RPA which is headed by a PPP/C MP, Dharamkumar Seeraj said despite some notable interventions since taking office the old bugbear that always creates setbacks in the rice industry has emerged to impede farmers once again. “Farmers need to be paid in a timely manner for their rice and paddy and the RPA is requesting Government to address the payment of approximately US$10 Million owed to millers by the GRDB for rice supplied to Panama under a Government to Government arrangement during the tenure of the Coalition government,” the RPA said in a statement.
The body said some monies have been outstanding since 2018, and all appeals to the former APNU+AFC government fell on deaf ears although the delayed payment is having severely adverse effects on the millers and farmers.
Meanwhile, the RPA said the resurgence of agricultural activity, subsequent to the PPP/C attaining office in August 2020, was not unexpected since successive PPP/PPPC governments have always supported every sector to promote national economic growth and consequential social development. In the agriculture sector, the RPA said there was a massive set of immediate interventions in the areas of drainage and irrigation including farm to market roads and dams and the removal of taxes on agricultural machinery and equipment, fertilizers, pesticides etc much to the relief of the hardworking farmers.