Accepted 18th May, 2020.
Guyana’s climate is characterized by seasonal variations in rainfall; the premise on which the cropping cycle of rice was established. However, strong tendencies of rainfall to deviate from its normal seasonal pattern have often resulted in large losses in the rice sector. This research examined the effect of rainfall variability on rice production, with specific reference to area sown, yields and area harvested for the period 1988 – 2007 in Region Six, Guyana. Correlations of rainfall with area sown, area harvested and yields revealed an inverse relationship between rainfall and these variables and a weak positive relationship between rainfall during the vegetation and reproductive periods and yields. For yields the order of influential magnitude was variations in years, crop, and area. Further, the results of the regression analysis have shown that variations in rainfall accounted for 85-90 percent of the observed fluctuations in area harvested, yields and area sown. The effect of rainfall on rice production was exacerbated by access to farming equipment and access to and management of irrigation and drainage facilities.
Keywords: climate variability, rice, climate change vulnerability, rice production, Guyana