Samuda explains Guyana rice imports
Industry and Commerce Minister Karl Samuda said Jamaica will not be able to purchase some 32,000 tonnes of rice that the Guyanese government has set aside for the country.
Guyana\'s Agriculture Minister Robert Persaud had earlier written to the Jamaica government informing it of the availability of rice between now and the next crop.
However, Mr. Samuda told the Caribbean Media Corporation that the government will not be able to follow through on the entire purchase, as the demand does not now exist for that amount of the product.
He said the country had already imported a shipment when there was a shortage earlier this year.
In addition Mr. Samuda said the country cannot give a guarantee to purchase the rice since importation of the commodity is done by the private sector on behalf of the government.
He says any arrangement to have a guaranteed supply of rice from Guyana would also depend on competitive pricing.
Earlier this year, Jamaica applied for the suspension of the Common External Tariff on rice for a six-month period to allow for the importation of rice from the United States.
It was also agreed that the country would purchase 60,000 tonnes of rice from Guyana, annually.
Last year, Guyana exported over 51,000 tonnes to Jamaica while up to the end of last month, the country had only purchased 23,500 tonnes.