The Ministry of Agriculture yesterday inked a new US$54 million contract to supply paddy and rice to Venezuela.
This fourth contract will see Guyana supplying 50,000 metric tonnes of paddy at US$520 per metric tonne and 20,000 metric tonnes of rice at US$800 per metric tone to Venezuela, the Ministry of Agriculture announced in a press release.
In addition, Guyana will supply 16,000 tonnes of white rice and 5,000 tonnes of paddy outstanding from the previous contract. The total value of the new contract is US$54 million.
According to the release, the previous three rice exports contracts have been upgraded. The first contract which was to supply 40,000 metric tonnes of paddy for US$380 per metric tonne was revised to US$420 per metric tonne. The initial contract also included the supply of 10,000 metric tonnes of white rice at US$600 per metric tonne and this was revised US$700 per metric tonne.
The second contract to supply 50,000 metric tonnes of paddy at US$420 per metric tonne was revised to US$480 per metric tonne for all shipment made in 2011 and with regard to the supply of 20,000 metric tonnes of white rice at US$700 per metric tonne; this was revised to US$800 for shipments made in 2011. The third contract was to supply 50,000 metric tonnes of paddy at US$480 per metric tonne and 30,000 metric tonnes of rice at US$800 per metric tonne.
“With the revision of the previous contracts and this new agreement with the markets in the (Bolivarian) Republic of Venezuela, the Government of Guyana has once again ensured that rice farmers, millers and exports are allowed to benefit from increased quantity of rice exports and at the same time to earn better prices for their products which may be above the normal world market prices,” the ministry said. It recalled that the initial agreements between Guyana and Venezuela were made possible by a meeting between Present Bharrat Jagdeo and President Hugo Chávez. These initial agreements allow for rice to be exported to Venezuela for the first time between the two countries.
Meanwhile, the release noted that harvesting of the present rice crop has commenced. In some areas of Region Two where harvesting has commenced, farmers have reported that they are reaping an average of 20-25 bags per acre, the release said. “The total amount of rice produced locally in 2011 to date was 249,239 metric tonnes. The amount of rice produced for the second crop so far amounted to 41,600 metric tonnes at the end of September,” the statement said.
It noted that on the international rice market there has been an upward production revision for 2011/12 with global rice production forecast to be higher.
The ministry said the Guyana Rice Development Board will continue to take all necessary steps to ensure that the local farmers, millers and exporters continue to gain the greatest benefits of exporting rice to the various world markets.
“The rice output of Guyana for 2011 will surpass the levels what were achieved in 2010, as this is evident from the first crop and the projected second crop. This greater increase in output will allow for improved economic benefits to be achieved by all stakeholders of the rice sector,” the ministry said.