Please permit me to share my views on malpractices taking place at the Burma Rice Research Station.
It is alleged that the present administration and management of the Burma Rice Research Station are engaged in a lot of undesirable practices which contradict the guideline principles that govern the cultivation of basic and certificated seed paddy.
The allegations are: several seed fields which were heavily logged caused ‘roguing’ not to be done properly; many other fields were not ‘rogued’ at the correct stage and timing during the crop resulting in the paddy harvested being contaminated with a high percentage of red rice, off-types, other varieties. I was told that based on the directives given by the Head (Dr Mahindra Persad) to a highly favoured unqualified seed production officer, all those contaminated paddy were harvested and sent to the processing facility for drying and cleaning for the purpose of being sold to farmers as high-quality seed paddy.
A Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) official, who asked to remain unnamed, told me that this was not the first time seed paddy that did not pass the field inspection and quality standard analysis were harvested, dried, cleaned and sold to farmers as high-quality seed paddy under some name called C3. Paddy that does not pass field inspection and quality analysis must be sent to the mills as commercial and not sold as seed paddy.
The farmers who are the end users are the persons who will stand to suffer the most. If the above is true, the off-types, other varieties and red rice will end up in the farmers’ fields. Farmers are already facing great challenges to manage increasing red-rice weed problem, with very little or no definitive solution to the problem forthcoming from the Burma Rice Research Station.
This alleged practice largely disregards the guidelines and ethics that should overlook the correct cultivation of seed paddy.
The allegation is a very serious one and the Minister of Agriculture and Rice Board management should pay keen attention to it and investigate. It is time for some structural changes at Burma Rice Research Station to improve the efficiency and deliverables.