The possible cultivation of a new variety of rice in Region Nine was discussed by a visiting Brazilian rice team and Minister of Agriculture, Robert Persaud yesterday.
An initial feasibility study carried out by the Brazilian team of representatives from the company RiceTec, according to a ministry release issued yesterday, indicated that conditions are suitable for planting the propose rice type in the Upper Takutu/Upper Essequibo region.
Regional Director of RiceTec Markus R Ritter, the release stated, informed that the new variety provides higher yields and increased benefit to farmers. RiceTec, Ritter continued, “will work with the Governments of Guyana and Brazil to initiate the necessary protocols to commence this project”.
Persaud, the release further said, urged the Brazilian company to consider value added production to create employment and collaborate with local farmers and officers of the Guyana Rice Development Board to facilitate technology transfer.
In an invited comment, Persaud told Stabroek News that the Brazilian team has proposed “upland rice” which he described as a new hybrid.
This hybrid, the minister explained, is suited to the conditions of the Rupununi Savannah area in Region Nine.
However, the minister said he has requested a detailed proposal from RiceTec and stressed that “if” Guyana goes ahead with the project then it will aim at developing Upper Takutu/ Upper Essequibo and further ensuring our food security. Based on what he’s heard thus far Persaud believes that “we stand to gain” from the proposal.