‘GRDB 15’, the Guyana Rice Development Board’s (GRDB) latest paddy variety launched last April has been applauded by a longstanding Region Three farmer.
Ganga Persaud of Hague on the West Coast Demerara was involved in the testing phase of the new variety before its release. He has been cultivating rice for over 60 years and has been one of the GRDB’s contract-seedling farmers for over 20 years, according to the Department of Public Information (DPI) .
Persaud said he and his fellow rice farmers are very pleased with the performance and the high yielding results of this latest variety. “This magnificent variety has very good promise for the future of the rice industry. It germinates equally and easily, it grows well in deep water and it gains height very quickly. It has deep penetrating roots and coarse stems; also, a large spread of leaves and the pads on the panicles [seed heads] are compact and have an average of 217-227 grains,” he said.
According to Persaud the variety takes 5-20 days for full flowering and can be harvested at 115 days old.
“To propagate GRDB 15, this agency [GRDB] must sensitise more farmers to the usefulness of the variety. This means more fieldwork. Office work has its own results but field work yields the optimum in getting what you may be looking for. Rice farmers are enthusiastically committed to utilising this variety because of its yield factor and its favourable characteristics. But we must know if GRDB 15 has blast-resistant features and climate change compatibility,” Persaud said.
With regards to the grading and upgrading of the access dams in the Hague community, the farmer, according to DPI, hopes that these vital services of the National Drainage and Irrigation Authority will be taken care of.