Research is an important component of the Guyana rice industry. It is the avenue through which new technology is made available to the rice industry on a continuous basis to sustain its competitiveness in an ever changing physical, financial and social environment.
GRDB’s main Rice Research activities are done at its Rice Research Station, located at Burma, Mahaicony. Additionally, research work is also done across all rice growing regions where potential varieties are screened for their adaptability to the local environment.
Screening includes monitoring the resistance levels of potential varieties against different rice pests and diseases, soil nutrition and general agronomic performances of these rice strains.
Plant Breeding can be defined as the art, science and technology of improving the genetic makeup of plants in relation to their economic use for mankind.
Rice grown in Guyana occupies approximately 225,000 acres and has been double cropped per year. Several varieties (10) are presently under cultivation however, GRDB 9, GRDB 10, G98-22-4, G98-196 and G98-135 are the dominant varieties. Average grain yields obtain by farmers is 30 bags/ acre. The following management practices are recommended to follow for obtaining high grain yields.
To improve farmers’ income by exploring avenues to reduce their dependence on pesticides and at the same time, their quality and productivity.
Rice diseases continue to be important in limiting profitable rice production in Guyana and other parts of the world, and is considered to be one of the most important biotic and abiotic factors that affect rice cultivation and its productivity. Rice diseases can result in losses of up to 100% in a crop.
The main objective of the Seed Production Department is to produce sufficient quantity of high quality seed for farmers. During the year 2015, 1,516.1 tonnes (23,822 bags of 140 lbs) of seed consisting of 12 commercial varieties were produced (see table below). These seeds were distributed to farmers across the country.