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Climate change, water scarcity main challenges to enhance rice output: Shahzad

ISLAMABAD-Punjab Rice Research and Development Board Chairman Shahzad Ali Malik here on Sunday said that challenges such as climate change, water scarcity and pests can affect rice production in Pakistan. However, hectic efforts must be made on top priority to address these issues through research and development, improved farming practices and policy support to ensure the continued importance and sustainability of rice as a cash crop in the country’s economy, he said while talking to a delegation of plant breeders led by Prof Dr Muhammad Arshad Javed, Chairman Plant Breeding and Genetics Punjab University.  Shahzad Ali Malik said that rice was one of the most important cash crops in Pakistan, contributing significantly to the country’s economy. He said that Pakistan was one of the major exporters of rice in the world as rice exports were playing a crucial role in earning foreign exchange for the country. 

He said its cultivation and the associated value chain provide employment opportunities to a significant portion of the rural population in Pakistan. Farmers, labourers, millers, traders, and exporters are all involved in the rice industry, creating jobs and improving livelihoods, he added.  About the trade competitiveness, he said Pakistan’s rice industry competes internationally due to the quality and diversity of its rice varieties. By maintaining a strong presence in the global rice market, he said Pakistan enhances its trade competitiveness and expands its export opportunities.  He said that the rice sector was contributing to Pakistan’s gross domestic product (GDP) significantly and the income generated from rice cultivation and its related activities directly contributed to the agricultural sector’s overall contribution to the country’s GDP. 

He said its cultivation serves as a means of poverty alleviation in rural areas of Pakistan. He said small scaled farmers, who constitute a substantial portion of the rice-growing community are able to generate income and improve their living standards through rice farming.  About the rural development, he said the cultivation of rice plays a significant role in rural development by stimulating economic activities in rural areas. It encourages infrastructure development, supports the growth of ancillary industries, and helps improve living standards in rural communities, he remarked.

https://www.nation.com.pk/12-Jun-2023/climate-change-water-scarcity-main-challenges-to-enhance-rice-output-shahzad QR Code

Published Date: June 12, 2023

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