Mexico signals willingness to buy Guyanese rice
The Guyana government says Mexico has indicated a willingness to fast-track an agreement to purchase its paddy rice.
A statement released by the Office of Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo said that Mexico's Agriculture Minister, JosÈ Calzada, has given the assurance that he would fast-track the arrangements and encourage private-sector interests to enter into contracts with Guyanese millers.
Nagamootoo first met with Calzada on the issue last month at the Open Governance Summit in Mexico City.
Guyana has seen an increase in rice production this year and the David Granger-led government has been seeking new markets, especially after its fallout with Venezuela. Caracas has decided not to renew an agreement under which the rice was exported to that country in exchange for energy products, amid an ongoing border dispute between the two countries.
Rice production in the first half of 2015 amounted to 359,960 tonnes, 15.3 per cent more than last year's record high at half-year of 312,283 tonnes.
Meanwhile, the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) is conducting an investigation into media reports that 'fake' seed paddy was being distributed to farmers.
Technical advisers within the GRDB say the inferior quality may have resulted from bad storage.