This section consists of a comprehensive view on the value chain of rice production in Suriname. In collaboration with local experts who are deeply involved in projects in the rice sector of Suriname, an overview of how this sector works and which interlinked processes is described and illustrated. Furthermore, a series of educative videos released by research organisations such as the FAO have been compiled and thus this section functions as a collection of specific knowledge about rice production.
Provisional analysis of Rice Value Chain Suriname-based on impressions from Vietnam visit of conference initiators
Changing conditions for rice farmers in order to improve yields and quality outputs is difficult because it is a lengthy process that requires sustained policy attention and public resources. But at the same time changes in the commercial markets are the arena for nearly all the decisions that matter. Central in this process is the rice value chain, both as a key element of structural transformation and wherein many stakeholders, including farmers, millers, suppliers, traders, domestic consumers and foreign customers are involved for their livelihood.
The team of initiators don’t intend to formulate policy changes for Suriname at this stage. As experts we have to acknowledge the huge differences between the rice sectors in Vietnam and Suriname. Vietnam produces 45 million tons paddy per year in 1 crop in the North and 3 in the South, while Suriname only produces 250.000 tons annually in 2 seasons. Vietnam exported more than 6.5 million tons of rice in 2014 to most continents while Suriname exported far less than 100.000 tons of rice, mainly to CARICOM and Overseas departments of EU in the Caribbean and incidentally to the EU and South and Middle-American countries.
Comparing the giant and the dwarf is not fair and may not be possible. But we will undertake the effort since we are inspired by what we saw in Vietnam.
Referring to the examples in Vietnam from CASRAD and An Giang and considering the size of the rice economy in Suriname compared to Vietnam, regional and sub-regional or other types of associations between farmers and millers (or their organizations) handling the whole value chain (production, processing and marketing) should be considered and discussed during the congress as one of the possible innovative solutions to improve the sustainability of the rice sector in Suriname.
According to the visiting team cooperation between ADRON and AGI on rice breeding might be useful to start with the genome sequencing of currently used varieties in Suriname to be able to start-up a marker-assisted selection/breeding programme to adapt existing varieties to the changing market demands Other opportunities for cooperation of Suriname with AGI are: a)Exchange of blast-experts, b)40 PhD-researchers of different expertise working at the research institute who can provide technical assistance.
The certification process for Hoa Vang Sticky rice managed by CASRAD with intellectual property rights registration using a collective Trademark with Geographical Indication is a good example for the Suriname rice Industry, if they want to register a collective Trademark with Geographical indication for “Suriname Rice”. This topic has been mentioned several times by exporters and market experts for the last 15 years but was never properly addressed by the industry and the Surinamese government. CASRAD could advice Suriname how to organize this process of certification and developing the inspection/auditing system.
Suriname rice stakeholders should also consider and discuss the advantages of integrating production, processing and marketing in innovative business models to improve the sustainability of the rice sector.
Our assumption is that with the right mix of market forces and government interventions a process of economic sector growth can be driven by continuous and strategic innovation that will be beneficial to all stakeholders in the continuously changing value chain.
In schedule 1 a rough analysis of the value chain is presented higlighting the most important factors that influences:
- Efficiency in the whole value chain, and
This directly and indiretly influences the long term proficatbility and sustainability of the rice sector since farmers income and miller and traders profit amrgins are redued and in some cases even negative.
This schedule also illustrates the complex structure of the ricie value chain in Suriname
In a provisional rice value chain overview for Suriname, the team has inserted some of these insights acquired during the visit to Vietnam into the Suriname rice value chain. This will be used as a starting point for the discussions between the stakeholders in order to develop a rice policy to improve sustainability through improvement and innovation of the value chain after analyzing the market demands and especially the consumer preferences in specific markets.
In the schedule 2 the “lessons learnt for Suriname” during the study trip to Vietnam are presented in the various “thought clouds”.
The red bars indicate possible cooperation with persons or agencies in Vietnam.