– Agri Minister tells HouseThe sale of rice from Guyana to Venezuela has recommenced and has since been able to earn inMinister of Agriculture, Noel Holderexcess of US$3M. This was disclosed by Minister of Agriculture Noel Holder on Thursday during his presentation in the National Assembly on the 2017 budget.Holder said that these sales are as a result of the efforts of the private sector. He told the House that as of November 2016,Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping, Guyana had exported 6,700 tonnes of rice to its South American neighbour. The commodity was sold at US$500 per ton.This announcement came to the fore as the Minister was highlighting the successes and expectations of the rice industry in Guyana. In addition to these sales, Holder said that in the New Year, the Managing Director and a team from the Mexican Rice Council are expected to visit Guyana to initiate paddy sales to that country.According to Holder, Guyana currently exports rice to 35 countries around the world. He said, too, that there was an increase in rice exports by one per cent at the end of October 2016 as compared to 2015. Further, he said that with the reduction in world market prices,Wholesale Authentic NFL Jerseys, the value of exports for the commodity is expected to gradually decline.Based on figures presented to the House, Holder said that at the end of October the market price was US$370 per ton compared to US$394 for 2015. The Minister said that for 2017, it is projected that exports should total 531,000 tonnes at a value of US$180,984,Cheap Stitched Jerseys,000.Holder in his speech mentioned that rice had suffered some set back when it had lost the high-priced Venezuelan market. The preferential access by the Guyanese government to the Venezuelan market came to an end when the PetroCaribe arrangement collapsed in 2015.The deal was signed on October 21,Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping, 2009 under the People’s Progressive Party Civic, and entailed the exchange of oil for rice at top prices.Both governments were required to renew the agreement on a yearly basis. When the new administration attempted to renew the agreement, there was no success. Minister of Finance Winston Jordan who had attended the PetroCaribe Ministerial Council Meeting in Venezuela in July of last year,Cheap Stitched MLB Jerseys, said that Guyana’s Ambassador to Venezuela had told him that the Spanish-speaking country was not interested in renewing the agreement.The reason for this move was that Venezuela would be acquiring rice from Suriname instead and therefore would not need to import from Guyana.The loss of this market had raised many concerns amongst rice farmers, especially since the price being paid by Venezuela could not compare to the other prices being offered elsewhere. Under the agreement, the funds were allocated through quotas by the Guyana Rice Development Board to all rice millers on the basis of annual production.The higher producing millers were able to supply more of their rice to Venezuela. This was done so as to encourage millers to purchase more paddy from rice farmers. The effect of losing the market has resulted in lower prices being offered for paddy from farmers. However, based on Minister Holder’s expectation,Wholesale NFL Jerseys, some relief should be given to the industry in 2017 as new markets are sourced and the Venezuelan market continues to open up once more.