Essequibo rice farmers seeking own deal with Venezuela
The Essequibo Paddy Farmers Association (EPFA) is planning to approach the Venezuelan Ambassador seeking an audience to negotiate an export deal but the association is bemoaning the length of time registration of the body is taking. Head of the EPFA, Naith Ram told Stabroek News on Sunday that while farmers have given their support to the association there has been very little groundwork done by members to formulate their own data because the work is voluntary.
He said that going to the Venezuelan Ambassador was something the association was aiming for, however this publication queried what type of information the EPFA would be taking to the ambassador. Ram noted that the association does not keep track of which of its members are owed money by millers for rice shipped to Venezuela and how much and when payments are issued. He said that many of the association’s planned ventures were reliant on registration and did not foresee any groundwork being done other than the various meetings and protests the EPFA has held. Stabroek News asked why the legal registration will have an impact since the association has been ineffective in garnering stakeholder attention. This publication was told that while the support is there, farmers are hesitant to hand over their information to yet another organization when little has been done to address the many woes faced by rice farmers.