Nand Persaud invests $40M in UG Tain Campus for soil testing lab
With Guyana lacking the capability to fully support international markets with rice, the industry will soon benefit from a multi-million-dollar soil testing lab at the University of Guyana (UG) Tain Campus, Berbice. This new initiative will help farmers to make better judgment of the soil. Nand Persaud and Company Limited recently donated $40M to start the project.
Signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) last Thursday evening at the Pegasus Hotel was the Company’s Managing Director, Ragindra Persaud, and Principal of UG, Professor Ivelaw Griffith. The CEO of the Company said that studies have proven that soil testing plays a critical role in the production of all crops, since soils are necessary for the various produces. The soil laboratory will help farmers all across Guyana to be better able to make the right judgments when it comes to the soil and what it needs, rather than guessing.
He added that the lab will assist the farmers to make scientific decisions on what fertiliser to apply to the soil. Persaud said that after the soils are tested, one would know what deficiency the soil has and the farmers will replace that. The farmers will also reduce the spending on fertilisers cost since they will know the right and adequate amount they have to apply to the soil. Persaud told the audience that farmers should be looking in the direction of reducing cost, especially in the rice industry since the demand for rice is on the rise.
He added that Guyana exports an average of 500,000 tonnes of rice annually. He reminded about the Cuban and Mexican rice deal; the countries import some one million tonnes of rice annually.
The equipment for the soil lab will be supplied during the first part of the New Year, according to Persaud.
Rice manufacturer, University of Guyana partner to improve soil, water testing
One of Guyana’s leading rice manufacturers- exporters has agreed to help the University of Guyana (UG) establish a GY$40 million soil and water testing research centre at the Berbice Campus.
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the Chief Executive Officer of Nand Persaud Group of Companies, Rajendra Persaud and Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana, Professor Ivelaw Griffith at the 10th Turkeyen and Tain Talks held at the Pegasus Hotel on Thursday.
Persaud told the public forum on Climate Change that his company was motivated to ink the deal with UG because rice farmers are not taking a scientific approach to their work. “We take this gesture to do this here because we feel that farmers are doing things and they are not doing it very scientifically,” he said.
While the center would be located in Berbice, he said it would be accessible to farmers from other areas of Guyana.
He expects that the centre would help rice farmers conduct soil tests with the aim of increasing yield by applying the right fertilizer and eventually lower their cost of production. “As a company, we would like to see the industry be successful,” he said.
The CEO of Nand Persaud forecast an increase in demand for rice by Cuba and Mexico which together import almost one million tonnes of the grain, while Guyana exports half of that amount. “With those two markets, we cannot supply enough rice so I think we need to start doing things more scientifically so that we can maximise yield, maximise profit for the farmers and I think this lab will definitely help farmers to do better,” he said.
- The University of Guyana