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Guyana to export rice to Mexico

Published:Tuesday | March 14, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Guyana has reached an agreement with Mexico allowing the Caricom country to export an estimated 150,000 tonnes of rice duty-free to Mexico before year end.

The Ministry of Agriculture noted that the Mexican government gazetted the authorisation on March 1.

Guyana has been trying to enter the Mexican market since 2015, following the collapse of the Venezuelan market. In pursuit of that goal, its grain producers and exporters participated in the recent Expo ANTAD, considered to be the largest trade fair for food retailers in Latin America and the Caribbean.

"The Guyana team also met with representatives from Commercial Mexicana and Soriana," the Guyana ministry said in a release. "These are some of the leading brands in food retailing in Mexico; they operate in excess of 650 supermarkets in more than 200 cities."

Extension manager at the Guyana Rice Development Board, Kuldip Ragnauth, said rice production is expected to rise this year.

"I like to let the figures speak for themselves," said Ragnauth. "We have already seen an increase in acres sown when compared to last year. So far, we have recorded 225,000 acres as opposed to 180,000 acres for the same period of last year."

The rice board head added that the fields under production exceed the projected 210,000 acres, an estimate he said that had been underpinned by the weather impact on the spring crop for this year and last year.