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PESHAWAR: On the directions of Ministry of Commerce, Trade Development Authority Pakistan, in collaboration with ITC, Department of Agriculture KP, and NRSP, organized the sixth in a series of seminars titled “Importance of Maximum Residual Level (MRL) in Rice in Global Markets” in Swat at Agriculture Research Institute (ARI) on July 05, 2021.

The seminar was attended by more than 80 participants representing rice farmers, exporters, REAP, pesticide dealers, representatives of Agriculture Department (Research &Extension from KP & Malakand Division), and relevant government organizations& other organizations.

Shoaib Zafar, Advisor ITC-ReMIT, host of the event, stated that MRL is of critical concern in the exports of rice to meet stringent international standards & requirements. ITC is focusing on helping small businesses meet these requirements. Dr Syed Tauqir Shah National Project Coordinator ITC-ReMIT specified the objectives and importance of the seminar.

Dr Mubarak Ahmad, rice expert, spoke about the pernicious impact of pesticides on humans, plants, and animals. He stated that due to injudicious use of pesticide, Pakistan’s exports face the risk of being banned, as the same happened to India.

He dilated upon the concepts of integrated pest management and WHO toxicity classes. He further added that Pakistani rice varieties are superb in quality and the only drawback in international markets is pesticide toxicity.

Pesticides that are not meant for rice must not be used on rice. Mr. Ali Narang, Rep. REAP, said that rice contributes $2 billion to annual exports.

He stressed the need for safe pesticide use to meet the moving targets of constantly changing standards in lucrative markets.

Dr M Abdul Rauf, Director General, Agriculture Research appraised the efforts of MoC, TDAP, ITC, and NRSP and spoke about the initiatives taken by the Government of KP to avoid unnecessary use of fungicide and pesticide in cultivation, and to help with technology up gradation.—PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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