Region 2 rice farmers dissatisfied with paddy prices

first_imgRice farmers in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) are dissatisfied with the current paddy prices being offered by millers. The prices range from 00-00 for grades A, B and C, and according to them the venture is quiet unprofitable.During interviews conducted with rice farmers along the Essequibo Coast, farmers complained that the price millers are offering cannot sustain their families and livelihood. Most of them explained that they have loans to repay at commercial banks and they are worried that with the current prices they will not be able to offset their overhead expenses.One rice farmer from Somerset and Berks, Bupesh Narine, said that this rice crop he only cultivated 10 acres. He said that it is better for the lands to be at rest than to invest in them. Narine said that paddy bug infestation was a major challenge for him and detailed that despite several sprayings his yield was less as compared to last crop.This farmer incurred additional expenses to purchase chemicals in an effort to mitigate the infestation. He is of the opinion that millers could offer better prices for a bag of paddy: “Imagine selling one bag paddy for $1500; (and) when you go to the shop $1500 cannot purchase anything, how can rice farmers survive? Even a Chinese food is more than a bag of paddy,” the farmer lamented.At Golden Fleece, Suresh Persaud also related that he was hoping that millers would have paid $3000 and over for a bag of extra A. He said that to his knowledge many farmers reaped low yield due to the high infestation of paddy bugs. With the low prices currently offered Persaud said many rice farmers will be reaping at a loss. Meanwhile, Guyana Times spoke with a few millers who pointed out that they do not have sufficient markets to sell the rice they are buying. Most of them are accepting paddy without even having a market. However one miller related that he is currently seeking markets in Panama and Jamaica. Samad Baksh from Imam Bacchus and Sons Rice Mill said that that mill is purchasing paddy at $1500-$2400 per bag. He said Grade C paddy price is negotiable. Baksh, an APNU/AFC councillor on Region Two Regional Democratic Council (RDC), said that sourcing markets for the rice is tiresome.He however said most of the paddy purchased are processed and sold at their own supermarket. Last crop rice farmers were offered low prices which forced many of them out of business. Region Two is predominately an agricultural region and 75 per cent of the population depends on rice cultivation for a livelihood. Over 34,000 acres of lands are under rice cultivation. Last year, Venezuela officially terminated Guyana’s PetroCaribe deal which saw the exchange of fuel and rice at “favourable prices”, as the Spanish-speaking nation teamed up with Suriname to pursue a similar agreement.The agreement, signed between Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and his Surinamese counterpart Desi Bouterse, will allow Suriname to continue to receive favourable rates on oil in exchange for rice.last_img

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