Close-up: Cotton field. - - Rice genetics, (UNDP).. The Guyana rice industry had its birth in the final decade of the 19th century when the sugar industry was passing through a depression. Today, Guyans exports two-thirds of her total rice production, retaining only one-third for domestic consumption. But this favorable position may not last until the end of the century. The yield of the standard, local variety is low, it grows on long stems which causes lodging (flattening) and, in addition, the population pressures are building u0p rapidly. In order to improve rice production, the Government sought the technical assistance of the UN Development Programme/FAO who sent a rice geneticist in 1966 to carry out research work on new high-yielding varieties. Over a period of four years a total of 1,714 rice varieties from 18 different countries were tested. This resulted in the selection of a few cross-bred varieties which have yielded, in field demonstrations, 38 bags per acre (almost 6 metric tons per hectare) compared with the national average of 9.6 bags from the same area using the traditional rice variety ? representing a 600% increase.