Gov’t Moves to Avert Possible Rice Shortage


Minister of Industry, Commerce and Investment, Karl Samuda has said that the government will be importing some 4,000 metric tonnes of rice from Louisiana in the United States to prevent a possible shortage of the commodity on the local market. The rice should arrive in the island by the end of this month.
Speaking at (Sept. 25) post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, Mr. Samuda explained that while there is not a significant shortage of the commodity at this time, the government was taking steps to prevent any shortfall.
“We have not picked up that there is any real shortage but we again have to protect the interest of the consumers by ensuring that there is adequacy of supply especially this time of the year, when you are in the hurricane season,” he said.
In explaining further the decision to import rice from Louisiana, the Industry Minister said that the output of rice from Jamaica Rice Mill will be reduced from 5,000 bags per day to between 2,500 to 3,000 bags per day during this week.
Additionally, he noted that the normal imports from Guyana will not arrive in the island on time due to a shortage of output from farms, but told journalists that Guyana had given the assurance that there will be no further shortage of the item for the rest of the year.
The Industry Minister also noted that there is no indication that the price of the commodity has increased. “We are keeping on top of it and as usual, we will try our best to be proactive rather than reactive,” he assured.

JIS Social