Ministry procures laser leveller for rice industry
Minister of Agriculture Robert Persaud on Wednesday commissioned a laser land leveller and tractor valued about $20M that had been procured for rice farmers and the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) to boost production and efficiency.
In his address, Persaud told a group of farmers at the Rice Research Station in Burma, Region Five that they needed to become familiar with modern technology as it is vital for the industry’s development. According to a Government Information Agency (GINA) release he also said the ministry intends to focus on the availability and access to cutting edge technology under its strategic plan.
“What we do here in terms of production, marketing and all activities that contribute to production, milling and exporting in the entire rice industry, trade will determine whether or not we are competitive,” Persaud said.
He said too despite the many challenges farmers and the rice industry have faced over the years, this year will see the rice sector breaking new grounds in terms of production. Persaud said that the ministry will continue to work with persons involved in the trade to ensure that farmers get a decent price for their crops.
Meanwhile, GRDB Chairman Nigel Dharamlall said procurement of the equipment is testimony to the close relationship that the government has with the rice sector.
He said over the past years there have been improvements in rice production and the quality of service, and despite challenges, the GRDB is confident of government support.
Additionally, Chief Scientist and Plant Breeder at the GRDB Dr Mahendra Persaud said that rice research in Guyana has been proving fruitful and that with few resources the country’s research programme is on par with other rice industries in South America. He said government, researchers, GRDB officials, the Rice Producers Association and the ministry are working diligently to ensure that research and extension at GRDB become more efficient. Dr Persaud told farmers that the equipment will ensure good crop establishment by levelling land, reducing weed problems and boosting uniformity of crop maturity. It will also save time, reduce water requirement and increase yield.