…many say yield better this year
SCORES of rice farmers in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) are breathing a sigh of relief now that they have harvested their crop and are getting better prices for their harvest as compared to last year.
Farmers who have finished harvesting, especially in the extreme south of the coast, are satisfied that this crop they are being offered better prices from millers.
Last crop, rice farmers were offered $2600-$2300 for grades A, B and C and most of them didn’t obtain grade A, which made them receive lower prices.
Many farmers journeyed as far as Vilvordeen to take their paddy, since they were being offered better prices at the reputable mill at that location. So far, approximately seven millers are on board purchasing paddy as soon as farmers take it to their mills. Prices range from $2800- 2600 for grades A, B and C and from all indications, according to interviews conducted with farmers throughout the region, they have managed to harvest better yields.
Farmers especially in the Golden Fleece/Perseverance/ Annandale/Aberdeen areas have harvested close to 40-45 bags per acre, which they say are ‘some good yields.’
‘We are particularly happy that millers decided to pay some good prices for paddy compared to last crop. Though it’s not much more, we farmers are very satisfied and also we get a better yield,’ a farmer from Golden Fleece related.
Another rice farmer, Haimraj Singh of Perseverance, related that he sold his paddy to the miller in Vilvordeen and he was content, since he was given Grade A. Previously, he was offered grades B and C at low prices.
“This year we have seen improvements in the grading system; we have seen that millers are paying more and the weight system has improved. Previously, we were ripped off by millers who would take off a lot of weight, claiming that the moisture content was high. But this crop things are better and millers are competing among themselves with prices.”
Millers who are currently purchasing paddy on the Essequibo Coast include Golden Fleece Rice Investment owned by Nazemul Hakh, Sea Rice, Wazir Hussain, Caricom Rice Mill, Arnold Sankar, Old Mac and Imam Bacchus and Sons Limited. Most of these millers’ prices remain competitive, which is sustaining the industry.
At the various mills, grading officers of the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) are present, ensuring that rice farmers receive correct grades and that the procedure is transparent.
Approximately 40 percent of rice fields are left to be harvested along the coast.