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KARACHI: Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) has announced Rs 10 million reward for breeder, who develops hybrid basmati rice.

Managing committee of the country’s largest and single representative association of rice in its meeting decided to give the reward for breeder / scientist who develops high yielding basmati rice seed.

REAP with this initiative has become 1st trade association which has taken initiatives to secure its supply chain particularly for basmati rice, which is also Pakistan’s national heritage and acts as the country’s ambassador globally. Such initiatives will encourage many breeders to come up with high yielding extra long grain basmati rice varieties that will lower cost of production resulting in boosts in basmati rice exports of Pakistan.

Non Basmati hybrid rice variety which is very popular in Sindh due to its high yield and high income per acre advantage has now started to be cultivated in core basmati areas of Punjab due to farmer acceptability. This is causing threat to Basmati rice production which might lead to lesser basmati rice crop size.

Sensing this threat to its supply chain, REAP is encouraging research in high yielding Basmati rice varieties to attract farmers and has also urged the government to ban cultivation of non Basmati hybrid rice in core Basmati rice growing areas of Punjab by initiating zoning.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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