Guyana signs US $130M rice deal with Venezuela

GEORGETOWN -- Guyana and its South American neighbour Venezuela entered into a US $130 million agreement on Friday, May 3, to renew a longstanding rice export deal, initiated by former president Bharrat Jagdeo and late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.

The agreement between Guyana Agriculture Minister Dr. Leslie Ramsammy and Venezuela Foreign Minister Elias Jaua Milano will see some 210,00 tonnes of rice being shipped from Guyana to the Bolivarian Republic.
Dr. Ramsammy told reporters at a press conference after the signing that the agreement will help both countries to strengthen food security. "It is a concrete way of cementing the cooperation friendship between our two countries. We look forward to more extensive collaboration in agriculture; we look forward to work with Venezuela, not only to develop our agriculture sector further, but that our two countries and our people will work together to end poverty and hunger in the Caribbean and Latin America," he said.
Meanwhile, Milano said that the partnership between the two countries is important, especially as it will help Guyanese farmers. "In a way we find this useful, so that we can contribute to develop or to strengthen the situation of the small and medium agriculture farmers the way we have been doing it these last 24 years inVenezuela."
The agreement had been scheduled to be signed earlier in the year, but had to be shelved after the passing of Chavez. It was further postponed after the country went into snap elections, won by Chavez's hand-picked successor Nicolas Maduro.
Dr. Ramsammy will travel to Caracas on May 15 to finalize this agreement.
In the picture above: Rice ready for harvesting
Rice being loaded for export to Venezuela

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