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June 2024

Govt may take rice exports to $5bn by 2028: Shahzad Malik

LAHORE: Pakistan has the potential to take its rice exports to US $5 billion by the year 2028 and then double this amount to US $10 billion in next 10 years, provided the country is projected as a reliable source of rice supply with continuous surplus production.

“Rice export was hovering around US $462 million in year 2002, and then touched the figure of US $2.5 billion in 2023 and hopefully, will exceed US $3 billion during the current calendar year.

“However, to achieve these figures, Pakistan should exploit India’s ban on rice export to our advantage. In the past as well, India has banned export of rice and by meeting the international demand, we could establish our country as a reliable source,” said member Federal Export Advisory Council (non-textile) and Punjab Rice Research and Development Board Chairman Shahzad Ali Malik.

He was briefing the newly appointed trade and investment officers during their visit to the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FPCCI) zonal office the other day.

Shahzad Ali Malik proposed that the country would need to go for hybridization of rice seed to achieve surplus productions. He said the country had two types of rice varieties i.e., Basmati and non-Basmati. The IRRI type rice grown in Sindh was acquired from International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippine, in 1960s and there was no replacement of this old seed till 1990. Then Guard Agriculture Research and Services started trial of hybrid seed in collaboration with its Chinese counterparts.

Taking credit of intervention, he said introduction of hybrid rice seed doubled the yield for Sindh farmers from the past 45-50 maunds per acre to over 100 maunds per acre. It not only helped strengthening farmer financially and poverty alleviation in rural areas but it also took the rice production from 09 million tons in 2022 to 9.3 million tons in year 2023.

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Published Date: January 24, 2024

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