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May 2024

Pakistan can increase rice production manifold: IRRI

UAF VC urges scientists to work together to bring about innovations

The factors behind Pakistan’s unimpressive growth is its dependence on international business intermediaries, low margins, vulnerable fluctuation in prices and terms of trade, energy shortages. Photo: file

FAISALABAD: The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) of the Philippines is promoting regional cooperation to increase rice production and germplasm exchange in South Asia to meet nutritional needs of the rapidly growing population.

These views were expressed by the IRRI Director for Asia, Dr. Jongsoo Shin, during an online meeting with Prof. Dr. Iqrar Ahmad Khan, vice chancellor of the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF), and other stakeholders on Monday.

He said that IRRI’s efforts to increase rice production at global level had resulted in meeting nutritional needs of 56% of world’s population. He said that 25 percent of world’s population was cultivating rice and arranging their employment from it.

Therefore, the countries should work together to bring food stability at their level.

He said that 13 percent of world’s crops were produced in the form of rice, which had worth of $206 billion. Jongsoo Shin said that rice was cultivated on 10 percent cultivable areas of the world, and 35% of total water resources were used for it. Therefore, it was dire need of the hour that new rice varieties should be introduced to meet future challenges.

The IRRI official said that in Pakistan, tall rice varieties with the help of crisper case and genome editing could be adapted by making them shorter in duration.

He said that Pakistan has been producing world’s best fragrant rice. However, its production could be increased manifolds by using genetic diversity, he added.

UAF Vice Chancellor Dr. Iqrar Ahmed Khan said that with the help of IRRI, Pakistan could make advancements in rice production. He said that Pakistan was producing valuable rice with excellent taste and aroma.

However, he urged the scientists and experts to work together for value chain system equipped with new innovations.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 18th, 2023. QR Code

Published Date: April 18, 2023

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