Country earned $2.5 billion from export of rice last year: Fakhar

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research (NFSR) Syed Fakhar Imam has said that quality of Pakistani rice is acceptable globally and rice products of US $2.5 billion were exported last year.
This was said by the federal minister on Wednesday while attending a webinar on sustainable rice production for boosting rice export of Pakistan.
Imam said that last year 7.2 million tonnes of rice were produced. He further said that rice products of US $2.5 billion were exported. There is a 30 percent contribution of rice in value addition while rice contribution in GDP is 0.6 percent.
He said, “2.5 tones HA is the gap in our present production. We need to invest in the rice industry.” Imam said that there is a need to update phytosanitary systems. He was of the point of view that rice is Pakistan’s third largest crop in terms of area sown, after wheat and cotton. About 11 percent of Pakistan’s total agricultural area is under rice during the summer or “Kharif” season.
He said Pakistan is a leading producer and exporter of Basmati and IRRI rice (white long grain rice). Rice ranks second among the staple food grain crops in Pakistan and exports are a major source of foreign exchange earnings.
He said that Pakistan grows a relatively high quality of rice to fulfill domestic and export demand. He said Pakistan has two major rice-producing provinces, namely Punjab and Sindh. Both provinces account for more than 88 percent of total rice production. He said that Punjab, due to its agro-climatic and soil conditions, is producing 100 percent of the Basmati rice in the country. – TLTP

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