By Mark Murray and Royan Abrams
President David Granger says the Caribbean nation of Bahamas can be considered as an important economy and he feels there is a lot that can be learned from the sister CARICOM country.
“The Bahamas is a large tourist market and the Region as a whole consumes billions of dollars in imported foods, and Guyana is interested in selling rice and other food products to the Bahamas,” he said on the latest edition of his weekly interview programme, ‘The Public Interest.’
According to the Guyanese Leader, as Chairman of CARICOM, he wants to see some advancement in the economy and is interested in selling agriculture products.
Additionally, following an exhibition in Mexico where a team comprising of local rice farmers and millers participated, Mexico had indicated its intention of buying 150,000tonness of rice from Guyana. Currently, the two sides are discussing the pricing.
Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, during a televised programme in Berbice, noted that over 40 countries are purchasing rice from Guyana. However, he said Guyana is not getting the kind of price it needs to provide more profit for rice farmers and millers.
Nagamootoo said, “if the price is right we can announce to Guyanese rice farmers that there is this new market but it all depends on what the price would be, and we hope it would be more than what we are receiving at the present time.”
Ever since Venezuela indicated its interest to not continue the trade of oil for rice under the Petro Caribe deal almost two years ago, the Government of Guyana has continuously been looking for new markets for local rice producers.
Guyana 2017 Rice Project
Meanwhile, Guyana’s Agriculture Ministry reported that it had seen positive growth figures for the 2017 first crop ‘in the face of’ claims that the industry is failing.
The Guyana Rice Development Board, Extension Manager Kuldip Ragnauth Friday last expressed his view that rice production figures in his view should be higher than 2016 due to the number of acres sown so far.
“So far we have recorded 225,000 acres as opposed to 180,000 acres for the same period of last year. As a matter of fact, we had projected 210,000 acres to be sown for this crop looking back at the weather impact on the spring crop for this year and last year,” Ragnauth added.