The Guyana Rice Development Board’s Central Laboratory received its GYS-170 certification from the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) as it continues to take steps to provide quality rice and paddy products.
Deputy Executive Director of GNBS Ramrattie Karan expressed gratitude to the GRDB for maintaining its national certification. Karran said that although the laboratory had also gained international accreditation, the lab has not forgotten its “national identity”. “The GNBS is proud to be celebrating this milestone with the GRDB,” Karan, said.
Also present and delivering the main address at the simple ceremony, Minister of Agriculture Zulfikar Mustapha said that the re-certification of the lab shows the agency’s commitment to continuing to provide quality service and contribution to the agriculture sector.
“This lab will enhance our position in the production of rice in our country…today certifies the quality of our production both locally and internationally in terms of what we export,” the minister said.
Mustapha highlighted that although heavy emphasis is placed on increasing the production of rice, the quality of what is produced is equally as important as the quantity.
Mustapha expressed his belief that Guyana’s rice industry will continue to be a significant contributor to the expansion of the economy. “Today we see that rice is one of the main contributors to our GDP (gross domestic product),” he said.
In his address, the minister recalled the devastating effect that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the sector. The pandemic, coupled with the flood that occurred earlier in the year, had devastated almost 90% of the agriculture industry. Despite these facts, the minister explained that the agriculture industry proved its “resilience”. “The future of the rice industry, I can safely say, is looking bright…and while we are now emerging as an oil and gas producing country, sectors like the rice sector will have to play an important role,” he detailed.