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Burma rice station
Burma rice station getting $100M upgrade -seeds resistant to extreme weather for release Wednesday, September 5th 2007 Government will be spending about $100M to upgrade the Burma Rice Research Station as part of its ongoing programme to encourage further growth in the industry.

According to a Government Information Agency (GINA) press release, the $8B being invested at the moment in the rice sector is to revitalise and restructure it. The sector contributes about 20% of agricultural Gross Domestic Product and accounts for 12% of export earnings. Minister of Agriculture Robert Persaud said the investments at Burma would improve seed paddy production, which would result in better rice yields and a surplus for farmers.

The minister said the Burma station has encountered problems with the quality and availability of the seed paddy, "so we will be spending to put drying and storage facilities to expand the capacity." GINA said an additional $120M will be spent to upgrade seed paddy facilities at Number 56 Village, Corentyne, Region Six while a $36M project was recently finalised for the construction of another facility at Black Bush Polder.

Also, $250M is being spent to carry out activities targeting seed production and multiplication, which includes the certification and training of farmers in improved production techniques. This is being done under the research and extension component of the Rice Competitiveness Project and is being facilitated by the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB). Under this sub-project, 150 rice farmers from all rice-growing regions are being trained and contracted to cultivate 1,006 hectares of seed paddy per crop, producing 75,000 bags of seed paddy, which will meet 30% of the national need. Trained personnel from a special unit set up at the GRDB certify all seeds produced. GINA said about $60M is spent annually on seed production activities through the GRDB but there is need for more to be done and all the current programmes are designed to address this and other issues. Meanwhile, in order to combat the effects of climate change, three new varieties of rice are to be released over the next three years. Two of these varieties should be able to withstand extreme weather conditions such as drought and floodwater, over an extended period. "So far we are looking at rain resistance and even salt water to withstand all these changes in the future," Persaud said, adding that technical personnel are considering the long-term impacts of climate change in planning for the sector.

GINA said statistics have indicated significant increases in production showing a production of 306,828 tonnes compared with 273,237 tonnes in 2005. Exports for 2006 were 204,296 tonnes which earned US$54.4M which is an increase of more than US$8M over the previous year. This increase is noteworthy because the area of cultivation was less last year than in 2005 and yields were from 63 bags per acre to 72 bags.
MGR Archive 6.9.2007
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Region Type Price  
Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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