Recently I read an article dealing with some rice statistics relating to the upcoming season. As a member of a rice-growing community, I would like to see much more being done for the development of rice in Guyana. I am very pleased to see what the government − in particular the Ministry of Agriculture − is doing in this regard. Recently, on the news the Minister of Agriculture made mention of some interventions they are making to support the industry and I must commend them for their efforts, especially the amendment of the Rice Factory Act to ensure that the regulations in relation to the purchasing of paddy are much more effective and efficient.
However, we still see that farmers are sending their paddy to the factory and not showing up to sign their ‘contracts’ with the miller, causing them to actually receive a contract with a pay date which is not desirable. I relate to how these individuals feel, since some farmers in my neighbourhood were victims of this. I would urge farmers to be very careful and pay an interest in their business.
As a farmer, one would have to work tirelessly − sometimes day and night − to cultivate the lands and ensure that production is at its peak, and by just not paying attention to the most important moment, that is, sending the paddy to the mill, all efforts can go in vain. I would urge the ministry and also the Guyana Rice Development Board to continue to educate farmers about these processes, and maybe even place a column in the print media to share information about updates on the rice sector since it is one of the oldest sectors in our country.
I wish to urge farmers to continue to educate themselves in every conceivable aspect with regards to the current world scenario, especially as it relates to rice and its global perspective and plan, so that they can better equip themselves for the future, whether a month or even five years ahead.