(de Ware Tijd) NIEUW NICKERIE – The purchasing price of a 79 kilo bale of paddy plunged yesterday to SRD 72, the advisory price of the Rice Organ. In recent days, millers used a price of between SRD 75 and SRD 77.50, but since the Rice Organ’s Badresein Sital announcement of the advisory price, they have been refusing to pay over SRD 72.50 for a bale. In some cases, they refuse to pay over SRD 70 and are even offering lower prices. Rice farmers are not pleased and blame Sital for this downward trend in the rice sector. “We wonder why Sital mentioned an advisory price at a time when purchasing prices were showing a rising trend” says rice farmer Sewcharan Uday, adding, “The government is giving us nothing, and now this Rice Organ is trying to set a price. It would be better for us to close shop and leave everything to the Rice Organ’s experts”. He says the Rice Organ’s activities negatively affected purchasing prices last season too, adding that one option is to ask President Desi Bouterse to dissolve the Rice Organ, so this will not happen again. Bramdew Rampadarth, chairman of the rice farmers’ organization VPP is not pleased with the unusually low purchasing prices being offered by millers, as he sees no reason for this. His organization previously calculated a cost price of SRD 71 a bale, and with a 25% profit margin, the purchasing price should be at least SRD 89. The VPP recently submitted a petition to the President via District Commissioner Wedperkash Joeloemsingh and is still waiting for a reply.