Pakistan Agriculture News, Rice

Rice exporters demand industry status

LAHORE – The Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) has asked the government to declare the rice sector as an industry and provide it all incentives in line with other five zero rated export sectors.

This was expressed by the speakers of at a dinner reception held in honour of Punjab Governor Rafique Rajwana organized by the rice exporters here at a local hotel.

The reception was also addressed by the REAP chairman Samee Ullah Naeem, UBG chairman Iftikhar Malik, LCCI former president, REAP former chairman Shehzad Ali Malik, Pir Nazim Hussain and members of the Association.

Samee Ullah said that government’s support and investment in holding foreign exhibitions should be made a policy to brand Pakistani basmati ricethe world over.

He said that Pakistan’s share in overall basmati export has gradually decreased compared to India, mainly due to the bigger crop size in the neighboring country, and government support to farmers to keep growing the variety while focusing on crop yield with subsidized inputs.

Samee Ullah said that India is more organized, while in Pakistan individual millers try but remain inconsistent either due to lower international prices, product quality and lack of support from the government to establish brand image.

He believed that a diverse product range, including the export of rice , would help Pakistan tap international markets and increase its foreign exchange earnings.

Rajwana congratulated the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan for organizing a prestigious Award Ceremony recently in Dubai to promote riceexports.

He said that Pakistani rice has been exported to more than 100 countries of the world, expressing the hope that this trend will continue with the same zeal in future.

He assured REAP team of his support for the betterment of rice industry of Pakistan.

Iftikhar Malik said that demand for Pakistani rice has increased due to its special fragrance, colour and quality across the world.

He called for consistency in research and development work in agricultural sector besides raising investment in research to achieve food security in future.

He said that public-private sector should join hands for increasing investment in agriculture research.

He said that adding value to the farm produce is crucial for increasing farmers’ income and establishing agri-related industries in the rural areas will not only provide employment but also help in minimizing migration to cities.