The Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) on Tuesday announced an increase in paddy prices paid to farmers for the 2017 second crop.
This increase, it said, comes in wake of farmers’ decrying the high production cost of plying their trade.
GRDB’s General Manager (ag), Allison Peters has credited the increase to the availability of new markets, notably, Mexico, Cuba, and Panama.
The average price per bag of paddy for the current crop ranged between $32,130 to $46,140 per metric tonne. This was equivalent to $2,089 to $3,300 being paid per bag of paddy.
“We are happy that our farmers’ are now able to receive higher prices for paddy and the Rice Board will continue to explore additional markets so that Guyana’s rice can be on the shelves of countries which in the past never imported from us,” Peters said.
Records from the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) showed farmers of Region 2 as being paid the lowest prices for paddy. However, this crop has seen a significant increase in the Region.
Regions 4, 5, and 6 however, are being paid the highest prices per metric tonne in the country. Despite the upward trend in prices, the Rice Board, however, express disgust with millers who are still not paying farmers’ according to the grade of paddy.
“They are offering one flat price for all the grades and we are reminding millers that despite the increased prices being paid at present, all certification of paddy must be done in accordance with the Rice Factory Act,” the General Manager noted.
The price set by millers are determined by a number of factors including the demand, the availability of markets and the world market price.
The increase in paddy prices has been welcomed by farmers’ who expressed gratitude to the Rice Board for the work over the years in ensuring that farmers’ interest is placed on the front burner. The farmers’, however, called on the Management of the Rice Board to continue to keep millers in ‘check’ to ensure that they abide by all clauses set out in the Rice Factories Act.
The Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) is also advising farmers to only sell paddy to mills that are licensed for 2017.