PLEASE permit me to share my views on the current “red rice” weed that is causing havoc in the rice industry in Guyana.
“Red rice” is a weed also known by many farmers as “jaranga,” “overhang,” and “weedy rice,” that also belongs to the Oryza genus which the normal cultivated rice also belongs to.
This noxious weed is gradually becoming one of the most destructive weeds which is present in over 60% of the rice-cultivation in Guyana and causing an estimated average yield loss of more than 25 to 40 percent in moderate to severe cases.
It is once again alleged that the Rice Research Station headed by Dr Mahendra Persaud seems to fail the industry miserably to provide a solution to this problem faced by our resource-poor farmers, who are already struggling to sustain rice as a business.
I was reliably informed that all you can see are these “fat cats” of the PPP who play lead role in the industry now sitting back idly allowing this dreadful weed to take over the rice industry and then will want to blame the coalition Government for neglect of the industry.
This is unfair to the poor farmers who need and look up to the team at the Research Station for proper advice and the solution to their problem.
It is also quite unfair for the Government of the day since these entities are supposed to be providing that needed technical guidance and service to the farmers.
It is a known fact that, should this “red rice” be allowed to continue at its current pace, rice production in Guyana will see a greater decline in the coming crops and the Government should not bear the blame for the losses due to this weed, but take the step to correct this situation now.
It is my call once again for removal of these dormant “fat cats” and overhaul of the Rice Research Station and for the Chairman, Mr Claude Housty, and board of GRDB to look into this situation swiftly so that this plague to the industry can be restricted.