President Is Behaving Clueless As To The State Of Affairs In Guyana.

As I write this letter I have a heavy heart. Four very deadly men are on the loose. Another who was shot at the scene of the fire for trying to escape, has now escaped from his hospital bed. Minister Roopnarine is leaving the Coalition Government, while the President is behaving clueless as to the state of affairs in Guyana. At the same time, Exxon Mobile is asking the Guyanese press members to not cover their events. Is this the progress that the Guyanese electorate voted for?

However, my desire is to speak of the situation of the rice industry. Rice, as compared with sugar of old, is now likely to play a significant part in the growth of the Domestic Product of Guyana. Over the years, the farmers have instituted practices that allow for a more robust harvest. But even as the farmers and millers increase their yields, there remains a problem with the sale of their rice and paddy.

The Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) has taken the country back into the Burnham days, when the Government used to control everything. Under President Hoyte, the rice sector was privatized. When the PPP came into power, they reversed that privatization policy and brought back the rice sector unto governmental control. We have seen over the years of the PPP how they mashed up the rice industry.

It is no secret that the rice business men and women were the ones who sided with the Coalition, especially the AFC, and brought down the mighty, arrogant, PPP. I have been in rice for years and I helped work to change the PPP from out of power. But I did not see this coming. I really thought that the PNC-Coalition would have taken a different approach than the PPP-Civic. In fact, as I talk with my fellow rice farmers, none of them expected what is now happening.

We all thought that when we changed the government, the new administrators would have change the illegal set-up of the Rice Board and the Guyana Rice Producers Association. We as farmers and millers have long seen how those two entities were bulling and stealing billions of dollars from the small man. We saw what they did with the PertoCaribe deal. We saw how they restricted the farmers and millers from selling their produce on the open market. And so the farmers and millers teamed up to change from the PPP, so that the new government can help them change those wicked and corrupt situations. But now they end up with the same thing!

Well, I am pleased to announce that the United Republican Party (URP), is offering the rice farmers another option. As a rice farmer myself, I know your struggles. I am therefore asking you to come aboard with us. Dr. Thurane Doerga has been meeting with me and we are working on a strategy that will see the rice farmers and millers receiving the maximum amount of money for their products. We will also push for you to be able to sell your product directly to your buyers, on the open market, without having to go through the GRDB.

The two main parties have made a complete mess of the sugar industry and now they are doing the same things with the rice. The AFC has failed the rice farmers. The URP is pledging that we will remain an independent party and push for standards and practices that will work in the best interest of the farmers and millers. We will not allow the continued enrichment of a corrupt few, while the folks who are doing the work and making the investments are disrespected and slighted. Enough is enough.