Guyana, Mexico serve up rice deal


Guyana’s Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and Mexican Agriculture Minister Jose Calzada.
Guyana’s Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo and Mexican Agriculture Minister Jose Calzada.

GEORGETOWN, Guyana – Guyanese rice farmers could soon be benefitting from the Mexico market, as Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo continues to seek new buyers for local rice.
The Office of the Prime Minister reported that Mexico’s Agriculture Minister Jose Calzada has given assurances he will fast track arrangements to buy Guyana’s paddy. He also made a commitment to encourage the private sector to enter into contracts with Guyanese millers.
The new administration has prioritized assisting farmers to find alternative international markets, in light of the country’s continued production boom and in the midst of its recent loss of a major market – Venezuela.
The Mexico market is one of several being explored by the administration.
Earlier this year, Venezuela announced it would stop buying rice from Guyana under the two countries’ rice for oil deal which was being executed under Petrocaribe.
The decision came amid the escalating border dispute between the South American neighbours.
In the past four years, Venezuela has purchased about 40% of Guyana’s rice – about 200,000 tonnes – paying for it with oil that amounts to about half of Guyana’s daily supply needs.
Guyana’s production in the first half of 2015 was 359,960 tonnes, 15.3% more than last year’s record high, first-half production of 312,283 tonnes.

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