Rice production up by seven per cent in 2023

Guyana’s rice industry continues to be the pillar of the agriculture sector with rice production increasing by seven per cent in 2023 compared to the figures for 2022.

This was disclosed by Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha, during the ministry’s end-of-year press conference hosted Saturday in its boardroom.

Minister of Agriculture, Zulfikar Mustapha at the press conference

“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 $210 million USD in 2023. Over 3 billion more than 2022,” Minister Mustapha revealed.

A sample of rice paddy

According to him, this is due to the country gaining more international markets during the past year.

Additionally, 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.

Moreover, 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.

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