In early December news of the collapse of the rice industry up north spread like wildfire across the country. Businesses in the Mennonite community of Blue Creek were on the verge of closing their doors permanently due to a slump in domestic sales caused by importation of rice into the local market. But following the outcry from the Mennonite community, sales of locally produced rice are spiking considerably. Farmers are seeing significant growth in sales figures but remain concerned that the boost may only be a flash in the pan. News Five spoke this afternoon with Ed Reimer of Maya Pearl Rice.

Via Phone: Ed Reimer, Maya Pearl Rice

Ed Reimer

“I think all the mills have seen an increase in sales. I wouldn’t have the statistics as to what margin, but definitely an increase in sales.”

Isani Cayetano

“Is this something you believe is short terms or is this something that you see constant going forward especially for this particular crop season?”

Via Phone: Ed Reimer

“I don’t really think so because there was no; none of the contraband operations were apprehended or anything, it’s just the additional public need and I think they have become comfortable with the operation and they just died it down some which I expect after a while they will continue back.”

Isani Cayetano

“Now Mister Reimer, the last time I spoke with a farmer from the Blue Creek Community, I was being told the Government through the Ministry of Agriculture was looking at specific taxes for the use of water. Can you speak to us whether or not that tax regime has been introduced or is that still at the proposal stage?”

Via Phone: Ed Reimer

“I think it is still a proposal; I haven’t seen anything concrete on that. We were so told that any increase would be a large margin and I don’t expect that increase to continue. But if it does that would be wonderful; we would get back to some kind of level of sales that were back from 2005 or 2006—that would definitely be a welcomed change.”

Channel 5