first_img…loss of money of utmost concern – Chairman Farmers of Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) are fuming after the seed paddy which they obtained from the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) did not germinate, causing additional financial burden to replant acres of land.However, the GRBD is claiming that the farmers are not being truthful. According to the GRBD, the rice farmers on the Essequibo Coast are telling a different story to the one told in Parliament on Thursday last by Rice Producer Association (RPA), General Secretary Dharamkumar Seeraj in relation to failed-seed paddy.Head of the Rice Farmers Association of Region Two, Naithram, who is also the agriculture coordinator for the region, said he is currently making representation for several farmers who were sold seed paddy, particularly the GRBD 10 seed paddy, by the RPA.He said that contrary to what was related in the National Assembly, it was not the GRDB 10 seed paddy that failed to germinate, but the paddy sold to farmers by the RPA during the last crop.However, Regional Chairman Devanand Ramdatt is not entertaining any of the explanations, noting that it is the plight of the farmers he is concerned about, and as such, is calling on the GRDB to assist the affected farmers. The Regional Chairman maintained that the GRBD 10 seed paddy is indeed the variety mentioned by the farmers as the one they would have purchased, and which is not germinating.Speaking with Guyana Times on Saturday, Ramdatt said, “The concerns the farmers are raising is that they purchased this variety that is known as GRDB 10… If they’re now having this issue with the seed paddy not germination and an additional expense to sow again, then cost of production is increasing. I think that the GRDB needs to help in whatever way they can.”Ramdatt indicated that the cost for one bag of seed paddy is just under $5000. He noted that since the seed paddy did not germinate, a loss is incurred while additional money is spent to buy new seeds and replant. He added that in many cases, farmers bought over 100 bags of seeds which they had to return.“A number of farmers would have said that they had to purchase back seed paddy to sow and it is an increased cost we have to incur. The actual cost per bag of paddy to sow is about $5000. If they have to sow for every acre, it will cost them not only a bag and a half per acre but they have to pay to broadcast (plant) the seed which is to sow back again,” the Chairman related.He noted that the concern lies within the financial constraints which these persons have been faced with, having been owed by millers and increased production costs.“My concern is that all of this is a burden on the farmers because this now adds to additional existing challenges that they’re facing. It has to do with the delay in payment by millers, increase in prices for fertiliser and fuel.”On Wednesday, the Chairman visited some of the affected farmers where complaints surfaced about hundreds of acres of rice fields being affected.The farmers said those who sowed the GRDB 10 were forced to replant their fields using different varieties of seedlings, which is an additional cost to them. According to several farmers who were present during the site visit, the entire Region Two rice industry is in trouble since farmers are not being treated equally and millers are taking advantage of their situation.Farmers also complained that they are losing confidence in the GRDB, noting that that the field officers are not doing their jobs by visiting the farmers and monitoring the industry. According to the farmers, since the new Administration assumed duties, subvention was removed from the RPA and the GRDB is the only body left to give technical support.last_img