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Infested rice fields at Hague see major improvement – GRDB

first_imgAlthough rice farmers in Hague, West Coast Demerara, are complaining of little improvement to several acres of rice fields, which are reportedly infested with bugs, the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) has confirmed that major improvements have been recorded since the agency intervened.This was related to Guyana Times by General Manager of the Rice Board, Nizam Hassan, on Thursday, while noting that there is evidence of such improvements.He however stated, “It is too early to say whether or not the crop will be of the standard when it is time for harvest, which should be just about four weeks from now”.According to Hassan, the discolouration which was first observed on the plants is now fading, as the plants are beginning to become greener, due to the treatment recommended by the GRDB and constant monitoring.One farmer, Ganga Persaud, who has 60 years of experience in the field said, “There are some improvements but not too much to be happy about. The rice, since GRDB officials from research came, they went there and they uprooted some plants and took some water samples and they looked at it and they strainedThe GRDB claims the discolouration has improved, as seen in this imagethe water and found some dead worms”.Persaud argued that the officials ‘routinely checked’ for the usual pests, something which he believes is not the real reason for the plants’ state. He said, “They did not look for is what they did not find”.The farmer said he believes the field has a soil problem. “There is a soil problem because of the three conditions the crop has to work with, the weather condition in water and mud”.He said he observed that most of the rice fields which are very low tend to attract the bugs.Persaud admitted that the GRDB has been monitoring the affected fields but still fear the bugs may get the best of the fields since other farmers have been complaining of the very same bug affecting their rice fields.The farmers initially claimed that some 120 acres of their lands were being affected by a termite infestation but GRDB later dismissed this claim, saying that advice was given to the farmers to drain the fields and apply systematic pesticides, but the farmers refused to do so.The GRDB said it determined that the farmer needed to drain the field, apply a systematic pesticide; in this instance, it was recommended that Pronto and Regional at the recommended rates be used.Hassan said a subsequent visit by the GRDB showed that the farmer had water weevils and had not been spraying with the required pesticide recommended by the team. The GRDB head claimed that the farmer also admitted to not draining his field despite being advised to do so and was, in fact, applying a contact insecticide instead, rather than a systematic pesticide. Based on a report compiledThe state of the rice field before GRDB’s interventionby an investigating team, dead water weevil larvae were found on the roots of some plants, the GRDB noted, adding that only one farmer, and 3.4 acres of rice fields, was presently affected.Guyana Times reported that close to 15 rice farmers were affected and lost much of their crop in the villages of Hague, Den Amstel, and several other areas.Omar Dhanny, a farmer who cultivates about seven acres of land at Hague, had said he and other farmers exhausted all efforts to address the situation, but to no avail.“This here affects me a lot, because this amount of rice here what damage for me, I already (gone) through all the doses of fertiliser and I already sprayed about six times. If you calculate, it is a lot of money, and nobody don’t know if we gonna get anything from the Rice Development Board,” he pointed out earlier this month.In recent years, farmers across the country have been earning reduced profits for their rice, especially with the collapse of the PetroCaribe (rice for oil) deal with Venezuela. Government has sought alternative markets such as Mexico and Panama. However, millers are delaying payments to farmers owing to challenges with ready access to payments from the foreign markets.last_img

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