Millers scouting around for alternative markets for rice
WITH the Guyana/Venezuela rice agreement under the PetroCaribe deal in jeopardy, some rice millers are now exploring new alternatives on their own behalf but some remain reluctant to venture into this exploration because of the low prices which are being offered.
General Secretary of the Guyana Rice Producers Association (RPA), Dharamkumar Seeraj made this disclosure yesterday during a telephone interview with this publication.
When asked about the current situation facing the millers, Seeraj said that, “exports have been slowing down drastically over the past few days.”
The millers, he noted, have been asked to remove their cargo from the wharf because the Venezuelans have refused to accept it and the demurrage charges have been building up, contributing to a US$300 per tonne rice loss which the millers have been suffering.
However, Seeraj noted that currently the RPA and the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) are working cooperatively to address the losses of these millers, and will soon meet to develop an alternative so as to assist the millers.
Sources recently told the Guyana Chronicle that some rice farmers are afraid to invest in producing more rice and have not replanted, although the second crop has already been sown.
Questioned about this, the general secretary of the RPA said: “The second crop has already started and so far they are on target, however, it is up to the farmers to harvest their crop, given that there is limited access to the bonds because of current surplus of rice, and the difficulty of finding areas to store it.”