Cuban rice importer mulls increasing intake from Guyana
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President of ALIMPORT, Alejandro Mustelier, (first from right) with Guyana’s Ambassador to Cuba, Halim Majeed, (second from right) and two other officials of ALIMPORT
President of ALIMPORT, Alejandro Mustelier, (first from right) with Guyana’s Ambassador to Cuba, Halim Majeed, (second from right) and two other officials of ALIMPORT

–commits to meeting all financial obligations

GUYANA stands to benefit from an expanded rice market in Cuba, where the country’s main importer of that agricultural commodity, ALIMPORT, stands willing to take an extra 30,000 tonnes of paddy, rice and rice by-products from local producers, should the initial transaction go smoothly.

The Cuban importer intends to purchase 30,000 tonnes of this commodity from Guyana, but President of ALIMPORT, Alejandro Mustelier, told Guyana’s Ambassador to Cuba, Halim Majeed, that should the initial purchase of 30,000 tonnes go well, it is likely that they will take more.
Ambassador Majeed, during his engagement with the company’s president and other officials, addressed issues which some of the local producers faced in the past when exporting rice to Cuba.

One particular issue which was raised was that of payment for goods exported. In response, ALIMPORT acknowledged such issues and committed to working closely with Guyanese exporters to satisfy all of its financial obligations.

A proposed solution to the existing issues, as suggested by Ambassador Majeed, is the establishment of a “proper, long-term” agreement among the parties involved. To discuss this and other issues, Ambassador Majeed will be meeting Mustelier again within a month.

It was reported recently that Guyana’s rice industry continues to be one of the leading income earners locally, raking in US$123,023,868 (G$25.7 billion) from the export of paddy, rice and rice by-products between January and June 2021.

The country’s rice industry has always been a leading income earner for the country. In 2020, the industry raked in US$236.2 million (G$51 billion). This came from the exportation of 574,312 tonnes of paddy, rice, and its by-products for that year.

During 2020 (January-December), Guyana exported rice and rice products to 40 countries. The major importing countries were Jamaica, Trinidad, Belgium, Holland, France, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, Colombia, Haiti, Honduras, and Venezuela.

As far as this year goes, Guyana is expected to be able to export 649,480 tonnes of paddy, rice and its by-products, to the value of close to US$257.3 million.

In Guyana, rice is an important source of livelihood. Approximately 6,020 farmers produce rice in several regions throughout Guyana. There are 43 licensed rice millers and 22 registered exporters of rice.

Rice accounts for 3.3 per cent of Guyana’s total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 20.5 per cent of agricultural GDP.

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