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Mar 25, 2015

G.O.B. Meets With Rice Industry Players

The rice industry imbroglio continues without clear definition because government stakeholders in the Ministry of Agriculture have remained mum. Currently rice retails at over one dollar and twenty cents a pound, while importer Jack Charles maintains that he can import rice from Guyana which would then retail for around sixty-nine cents a pound. It’s got government and local rice producers in a pickle and has sparked a round of meetings. Today, Prime Minister Dean Barrow told News Five that he remains confident that they can find a solution which would protect local producers, and also result in cheaper prices to consumers.

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“There are ongoing meetings between the Ministry of Agriculture and the local rice producers. I will only say at this point that we believe that the situation can be managed in such a way as to bring the price of rice locally produced rice down for the consumer in such a manner as would make it unnecessary for them to want to consume instead the imported rice. It’s a work in progress and the situation is still fluid.”

 

Dean Barrow

Reporter

“Would you agree then that the producers have been charging an unfair markup for local rice because they have a monopoly on the market and also because there’s no price control enforced?”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Well I would not agree to any such thing not by way of trying to protect producers but simply because it’s far more complicated than that. My understanding is that there might be an element of the retailers marking up beyond the controlled price so who is to blame in terms of the fact that admittedly the price control or the prices set by the Price Control regime have been violated. But the question of who really is responsible is a fairly complicated one. Suffice it to say that in a way this has galvanized both the producers who fear the possibility of being wiped out by cheaper imported rice from Guyana and the Ministry to come up with a solution that optimally should preserve the local rice industry.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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