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LAHORE: Chairman Pakistan Hi Tech Hybrid Rice Association (PHHSA) Shahzad Ali Malik Tuesday said climatic changes though damaged major crops like cotton and wheat but most of the rice crop remained unhurt.

Talking to a delegation of progressive farmers led by Momin Ali here today he said it is really a blessing that the cash crop of rice has survived the onslaught of floods and can fetch a substantial amount in export earnings, while most of the other summer crops were destroyed. Despite the floods and various other challenges being faced by the economy, exporters are gearing up for rice shipments as much as possible.”

About flood damage, he said Punjab’s rice belt remained nearly unscathed. He said Sindh too had a similar rich crop but unfortunately it was partly wiped off. He brushed aside the rumors on social media that Pakistan should ban rice exports as the crop had been totally damaged. “The varieties we export are not consumed locally, as those are used in feed mills only. Therefore, the ban is not required at all,” he emphasized.

PHHSA Chief Shahzad Ali Malik pointed out that there was a surplus stock of Basmati and non-Basmati varieties as well as maize. He said rice of production has increased due to use of quality seeds as farmers are using hybrid seeds that produce good quality rice and increase output.

He said the Governor Punjab has felicitated the Guard Agricultural Research and Services for evolving two new best quality varieties of rice in private sector for help boosting cash crop production in the country besides earning direly needed foreign exchange.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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