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LAHORE: Chairman Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan Ali Hussam Asghar on Thursday said that rice exports have crossed two billion dollars. He said this while talking to the delegation of the Lahore Economic Journalists Association. Former chairman REAP Shehzad Ali Malik, president LEJA Muhammad Sudhir Chaudhry and president Agriculture Journalists Association Muhammad Luqman was also present on the occasion.

Ali Hussam said that last year more than 3.6 million tons were exported. He said 700, 000 tons of Basmati rice were exported while 2.9 million tons of Non-Basnati rice were exported. He also told that more than rice worth export 280 million were exported in August.

Ali said REAP’s slogan is “Grow More export more”. He called for mechanizing the rice sector. He also said the government should provide harvesters to rice farmers on subsidy. He said that Pakistan benefited a lot from the ban on Indian exports. He further said that Pakistani rice exports increased from 1,50,000 metric tons to 3,00,000 metric tons.

He called for enhancing industry-academia linkages. He said that REAP has already announced a prize of Rs 10 million for inventing a new variety having more per acre yield.

Former chairman REAP Shehzad Ali Malik said that it is unfortunate that people have started cultivating Non-Basmati rice in the areas of cultivation of Basmati rice. He also said that if the cultivation of Non-Basmati rice was not stopped in the Basmati growing areas of Punjab then Basmati will be scarce. He said China has supported us a lot in hybrid rice.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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