Guyana records increase in rice, sugar production in 2023
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, (CMC) – Guyana has recorded a seven per cent increase in rice production this year as compared with 2022, earning nearly GUY$50 billion.
The country also recorded a significant increase of 28 per cent or 13,155 metric tonnes in sugar production as compared to 47,049 metric tonnes in 2022.
“In 2023 we saw an increase in paddy production by seven per cent which translates to the production of 653,706 metric tonnes. That is 43,111 metric tonnes increase in the production in 2023 compared to 2022 production of 610,595,” said Agriculture Minister, Zulfikar Mustapha.
He told an end-of-year news conference that due to favourable weather conditions throughout the year, the variety in rice yield increased from 6.2 tonnes to 6.3 tonnes per hectare.
“We earned approximately GUY$45.2 billion in export. That is equivalent to US$210 million in 2023. Over three billion dollars more than 2022,” Mustapha said, adding that the increase in revenue is due to Guyana being able to gain access to more international markets during the past year.
He said there were other factors that contributed to a good year for the rice sector.
“For scientists to continue on this path and conduct more trials, we have renovated the plant-breathing lab at Burma, Region Five. We are hoping that we can do more research and bring out better varieties of rice,” he said.
Mustapha said the lab will specifically help to perform research with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the international body that has been collaborating with Guyana to study the bio-certified rice or the zinc-enriched variety rice.
Moreover, he noted that eight drying floors have been built across the country in the last three years and that the Black Bush Polder seed processing facility in Region Six that has been made operable during the year will produce close to 6,000 bags of paddy for approximately 600 farmers.
He said the ministry will continue to explore options to expand its rice production in the near future.
The agriculture minister also said one of the major achievements for sugar is the reopening of the Rose Hall Sugar Estate in September.
“… The industry was able to replant 52 per cent more land in 2023, which is a total of 4,020 hectares as compared to 2,640 hectares in 2022.
“We will be seeing less and less dependency from the government in terms of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) revitalising and bringing back GuySuCo at that point that we want it to achieve. We have seen a 22 per cent decrease of funding that we have requested from the government in 2023 as compared to 2022.”
Guyana has also registered a further 54 per cent of sugar production which was marketed as packaged sugar in 2023 as compared to 48 per cent in 2022.