I wish to thank you first and foremost for publishing my letter of October 21, 2013 in which I highlighted the cause of poor quality and non-germination of seedling paddy. Secondly, I must also pay tribute to people giving sterling service like personalities the Minister of Agriculture, Dr Leslie Ramsammy, the full complement of the GRDB Board of Directors and the General Manager Mr Jagnarine Singh who initiated a full investigation into the Burma Research Seedling Complex and its overall operations – not forgetting Dr Mahendra Persaud.
That letter and its in-depth revelation brought about some robust and admirable transformation at the Burma Research station and its field operations extension services. The RPA works in tandem with GRBD and has come a long way too.
High commendation should go to Mr Kuldip Ragnauth, who is head of GRBD extension service. This official is fully acknowledged by rice farmers everywhere, as a super advocate and tireless proponent of the six-point practice. He is articulate, approachable and a very committed individual, who has command over his extension staff.
My close encounter with Mr Kuldip occurred as a result of he and his extension staff undertaking an experimental plot on my three-acre farm. His experiment encompassed the six-point plan, which is scientifically based and its application must be very timely. I was never left alone in the field; a farm school session was regularly held every other week until the plot was harvested. Up-to-date scientific data was recorded on the progress duly made on the plot. The display of excellent services were a result of working with the farmer and it is one of the best ways to transfer scientific technologies to all.
I was very reluctant to cultivate the GR #10 variety because of a genetic problem which takes the form of ‘lodging.’ It falls flat before harvesting. However, Mr Kuldip counselled me into planting this particular variety because of its high yield. I did so and the result was astonishing; I harvested 55.5 bags of 155lbs per acre. Other varieties yielded 40 bags per acre in recent crops.
Lastly, the overall transformation which my letter brought about, was a manifestation of a hidden truth, and that is not all Guyanese are patriotic in their work ethic. I trust and hope that after the recent resolutions and transformations the Research Extension Service and GRBD Board will not fall back into their former slots once again.