GRDB inks US$5.2M contract for rice exports to Panama

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The Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) has inked a US$5.2M contract for the supply of 9,075 tonnes of white rice to Panama over the next year.

The contract is a renewal of similar agreements signed in 2017 and 2018.

There were fears that the Panamanian authorities will not renew the contract after over 20 containers of rice shipped to Panama were rejected in September.

The containers of what was expected to be packaged white rice were rejected as a result of substandard quality.

However, a statement from the Ministry of Agriculture noted that “this development comes in the wake of Guyana successfully meeting its quotas in a timely and consistent manner.”

The statement disclosed that the contract runs from December 2018 through 2019.

Shipment for the first set of white rice under this new agreement will start later this month, the Ministry said.

Statistics released by the GRDB indicate that over the last three years, Guyana shipped US$77,147,322M in rice to Panama.

According to the Ministry’s statement, General Manager of the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB), Mr. Nizam Hassan has expressed his satisfaction at the performance of the industry and the confidence the Panamanian government continues to show in Guyana’s rice industry.

“We are doing exceptionally well at the moment despite the recent issue which occurred. Nonetheless, the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) has secured and signed another contract and shipment will commence shortly,” he was quoted as saying.

Exports for Jan to Nov 2018, as compared to 2017, shows a value of US$25, 856,293 when compared to US$19, 257,176 for 2017 for rice.

The Panamanian market has impacted the price farmers receive per bag of paddy, over the years.

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