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Guyana rice production up seven percent, almost 10,000 acres of corn, soya beans produced in 2023

By Caribbean News Global contributor 

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (DPI) – Guyana is on target for self-sufficiency by 2025 to produce all of its livestock feed, while reducing its dependency on imports, with approximately 10,000 acres of corn and soya beans being produced in 2023; meantime Guyana’s rice industry continues to be the pillar of the agriculture sector with rice production increasing by seven percent in 2023 compared to the figures for 2022.

Related: Estonia, Slovenia among new rice markets for Guyana last year

Corn and soya beans

Guyana is diversifying its robust agriculture sector with the introduction of new crops to ensure food security, said minister of agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha on Saturday during the end-of-year press conference.

“We have seen almost 10,000 acres of corn and soya beans being produced in 2023, with production for 26,000 acres for the end of 2024… And 30,000 acres by the end of 2025. This will take us to self-sufficiency in 2025 for us to produce all of our livestock feed for our country’s needs…And for us to be a net exporter in the Caribbean,” minister Mustapha stated.

“So, that means this will be a big thing for us if we produce our own feed in Guyana, then, the cost for meat especially poultry and other meats will be reduced tremendously.”

The government has developed an area in the Tacama Savannah for the production of corn and soya beans.

“We have built 41 kilometres of roads in the Tacama area there. We have built the silos, 9,000-tonne silos, that they are using to process the corn and soya. And we have seen production increasing over the years,” stated minister Mustapha.

With the fastest-growing economy in the world, Guyana keeps attracting new investors as a result of the abundance of opportunities. Minister Mustapha continued:

“We are seeing more and more investors being encouraged to come into this area. In 2023, we saw two new investors, the Santa Fe and the Iring Integrated in Region Nine. And another two investors, the Sheriff Group and Farmland Incorporation in 2024.

Related: Guyana’s Rice production increases despite El Nino weather conditions

Rice production up by seven percent in 2023

“In 2023 we saw an increase in paddy production by seven per cent which translates to the production of 653,706 metric tons. That is 43,111 metric tons increase in the production in 2023 compared to 2022 production of 610,595,” the minister said.

He added that due to favourable weather conditions throughout the year, the variety in rice yield moved from 6.2 tonnes to 6.3 tonnes per hectare.

“We earned approximately $45.2 billion in export. That is equivalent to USD$210 million in 2023. Over three billion more than 2022,” minister Mustapha revealed, this is due to the country gaining more international markets during the past year.

The minister pointed out that several facilities have been renovated and constructed to help in the country’s rice production.

“For scientists to continue on this path and conduct more trials, we have renovated the plant-breathing lab at Burma, Region Five. We are hoping that we can do more research and bring out better varieties of rice,” the agriculture minister explained.

This lab will specifically help to perform research with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the international body that has been collaborating with Guyana to study the bio-certified rice or the zinc-enriched variety rice.

Minister Mustapha noted that eight drying floors have been built across the country in the last three years. He said that the Black Bush Polder seed processing facility in Region Six that has been made operable during the year will produce close to 6,000 bags of paddy for approximately 600 farmers.

The ministry, he said, will continue to explore options to expand its rice production as time goes by.

Related: Guyana exploring local cultivation of wheat as world market prices soar

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