Rice milling company blasts GRDB’s “no outbreak” report

Jan 12, 2020 kpzhojlh

first_imgCorentyne rice infestation…says over 3000 acres infestedNand Persaud and Company Limited has blasted the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) for saying that there has been no outbreak of the worm associated with the water weevil on the Corentyne.Following a report carried by Guyana Times that rice farmers on the Corentyne are experiencing strange growth and pests in their fields, as some rice is being attacked by worms and flies, the GRDB said that it was not true.According to the GRDB, a visit to the area revealed that there is no outbreak of the worm associated with the water weevil as reported. The State rice entity statedFrustrated Alan Goolcharran of Number 52 Villagethat the pest was only found in one farmer’s field in the area.However, Nand Persaud and Company Limited, one of the largest rice mills in Berbice, on Tuesday said the presence of the pest was characterised by stunted plant growth and yellowing of leaves. These signs often cause confusion among rice farmers who mistakenly believe that there is a nutrient deficiency problem.“Several farmers contacted Nand Persaud and Company Limited on the infestation issue and have benefited from intense investigative field visits and follow-up plans conducted by their agronomist. This has resulted from significant recoveries made from the fields treated and arduous efforts are currently in progress to bring the pest infestation under control,” the rice milling company said.When this publication first published the article, one farmer stated that he was advised by the GRDB to use Matador to control the worms which were found on the roots of the rice plants.In its release dated March 9, the GRDB listed seven chemicals, including Matador, to be used to deal with the pest.However, Nand Persaud and Company Limited has strongly objected to this. According to the company, the rice farmers should not utilise the pesticide Matador for the treatment of this pest or paddy bugs since it has been found to escalate the problem.“The Plant Hopper is known to transmit a virus called Hoja Blanca which can result in 25-50 per cent loss in yield if the problem is not identified and treated early. The Extension Department of Nand Persaud wishes to extend its continuous support to farmers in the fight against this potentially dangerous pest,” the milling company said. One farmer who Nand Persaud highlighted, Alan Goolcharran, of Number 52 Village, Corentyne, whose cultivation comprise approximately 40 acres of rice, is likely to lose more than 20 per cent in yield if the situation is not brought under control.Recently, brightly coloured leaves were observed on some of the paddy plants.According to some farmers, their fields have experienced stunted growth over the past month. One of the affected farmers is former Rice Producers Association (RPA) Extension Officer Ramlakhan Singh, who farms at Number 56 Village.He explained that they have been investigating and it was some of the labourers who made the startling discovery: strange worms at the root of the plants.But there is a second problem – one that is more complicated affecting the rice. Large-scale infestation of what appears to be flies has been seen by some rice farmers. There were a similar attack two crops ago and rice production was low in the affected areas. Following the publication of the GRBD’s release, some Corentyne rice farmers exposed the poor service being offered to Corentyne rice farmers by GRDB’s extension officers. They claimed that three weeks ago, reports were made to the GRDB about the infestation and the officer engaged a few farmers afterward and provided advice. Those farmers say the extension officer might have been in trouble had the team visited the affected farms.“They advised a few farmers and the team went to those farms and so they would not find any worms because the officers told the farmers what to do…” (Andrew Carmichael)last_img

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