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LAHORE: Pakistan Basmati Heritage Foundation (PBHF), a consortium of Basmati rice exporters, arranged seminars to create awareness amongst the growers and other stakeholders of the rice value chain for improving productivity and food safety through the usage of certified seeds and judicious application of pesticides.

The seminars held at Narowal and Mandi Bahauddin were attended by the farmers, exporters and representatives of Ebro Foods (an international grain company) and Eurofins providing testing, certification and other facilities to exporters.

Juan Parious Soto Commercial Director of Ebro Foods speaking on this occasion said that better crop productivity for higher volumes through certified seeds and monitoring of pesticides residue was very important since Import Tolerances (IT) were being revised periodically by the European Union (EU), USA and Gulf countries.

He said that our products are going to the high-end market and we have to keep the pesticide residue below the IT standards.

Antonio Hernandez Chairman of Ebro Foods (Ebro, Herba & Tilda) told the audience that being the world’s largest importer of Basmati rice he was ambitious to double the Basmati rice import. Tariq Mahmood Focal Person of Ebro Foods and CEO of GRS added that Compliant Exportable Basmati rice means purity, quality, traceability and food safety.

Dr Alexander Zahm MD Eurofins Germany along with Dr Werner Nadder Former MD Eurofins shared the comparison of export dynamics of Basmati rice between India and Pakistan including rapid alerts generated for pesticides and aflatoxin.

Sh Adnan Aslam Co-convener of PBHF and Executive Director of MAP Rice welcoming the foreign guests shared a snapshot of the rice sector, particularly Basmati rice. He apprised the participants regarding the potential of exports by boosting rice productivity while keep ensuring food safety.

Imran Sheikh and Raja Arslan Khan National Coordinators of PBHF moderating seminars explained the context of the visit of international buyers. They underlined the usage of certified seed and responsible use of pesticides to meet import tolerance standards.

REAP Senior Vice Chairman Haseeb Khan and MC member Ali Narang shared their insights for increasing share of Basmati rice exports in global market through new seeds and pesticide stewardship.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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