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-$205M fertilizer vouchers distributedGovernment yesterday commissioned a paddy drying facility worth $14 million, at Crane, West Coast Demerara, the first of 12 being built across the country. The most recent facility is capable of accommodating 300 bags per day.During the launch of the facility at the compound of the Guyana Rice Producers Association (RPA), General Secretary, Dharamkumar Seeraj, disclosed that the project was one of several projects that was initiated under a $400M intervention fund announced by President Bharrat Jagdeo last year after rice farmers faced difficulties from low world prices.Those present at the ceremony were Minister of Agriculture, Robert Persaud; General Manager of the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB), Jagnarine Singh, Region Three?s Chairman, Julius Faerber,[url=http://www.wholesalejerseyssale.us@#$%&/]China Jerseys Wholesale[/url], and several rice farmers.According to Seeraj,[url=http://www.cheapjerseysfan.us@#$%&/]Jerseys From China[/url], the facility will serve to vastly improve the storage capacity of farmers. The other 11 drying floors are currently being built in the rice growing regions across the country and will be ready soon for commissioning.The official,[url=http://www.nfljerseyscheaponline.us@#$%&/]China Jerseys Online[/url], also a parliamentarian, noted that following the high rice price of 2008, farmers had invested heavily and then faced falling prices last year. The interventions by government are clear indication that there is recognition that the rice industry needs to be protected, he said.Part of the $400M was set aside for farmers to claim vouchers to purchase fertilizers. So far, $205M has been paid to farmers although there were $238M being claimed.With farmers now being offered $3,500 per bag of paddy, Seeraj said that indications are that the price is rising on the world market and it is the hope that local farmers can see better prices reaching $4500.Meanwhile, the Region Three Chairman acknowledged the large drying area and described it as ?good? facility for rice farmers.Alluding to the current dry conditions facing farmers with irrigation water proving a huge challenge, Faerber urged for farmers to be patient and allow the current system put in place by authorities to work since it is designed to benefit everyone.Minister Persaud, in his remarks, pointed out that the governmental $400M intervention last year was designed to not only address the short term needs of the industry,[url=http://www.cheapjerseysshare.us@#$%&/]Wholesale NFL Jerseys[/url], but looked beyond to meet the medium and long term needs.The interventions will continue and research is being done to examine ways for other resources to be used.He urged the farmers to make use of new technologies since it does not only enhance efficiency but will help to reduce costs.The Minister stressed that the farmers should know that their competitions are not the rice farmers from Essequibo or Berbice but rather from Vietnam and The Philippines- countries which have embraced the latest in technologies and which are still looking to improve their techniques every step of the way.Persaud urged the farmers to also examine ways to diversify since this was an important aspect of the agriculture drive of this administration. Government stands ready to assist.The rice industry, the Minister acknowledged,[url=http://www.cheapjerseysauthenticonline.us@#$%&/]Cheap Jerseys NFL China[/url], is crucial to the country and therefore the current challenge posed by the El Nino weather condition is viewed seriously.Over the weekend, President Bharrat Jagdeo had announced a $258M assistance to farmers across the country. Almost $150M alone will be going to the rice industry for interventions, the official announced.Meanwhile, the GRDB General Manager said that the El Nino situation has seen several meetings being held across the country. Last year, in January alone, 23 per cent of the rains fell that month. This year,[url=http://www.cheapjerseysfan.us@#$%&/]China Jerseys Cheap[/url], by contrast, almost no rain fell. This is a clear indication of the climate change, he said.He echoed sentiments of Seeraj and warned that the rice industry should not be swayed by ?detractors?,[url=http://www.cheapjerseysauthenticonline.us@#$%&/]Cheap Jerseys Free[/url], referring to RPA Action Committee, an independent group of farmers which seems to be on a different agenda other than rice. Earlier this week, that committee had held a meeting to discuss the rice industry.