Pakistan. Higher rice production: president highlights importance of research


President Mamnoon Hussain on Thursday emphasised the importance of research and development for introducing higher yielding and better quality rice seeds in order to increase rice production and exports. He was talking to a delegation of Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP), headed by its Chairman Muhammad Shafique which called on him here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.

The President underlined that REAP should itself take the initiative to promote research and development in the rice sector which would benefit not only the rice exporters but also rice farmers. He noted that trade associations had an important role to play in unlocking the export potential of Pakistan by fostering business environment and representing interests of the business community.

He said that the government was committed to providing an enabling business environment through a consistent policy direction for trade and industry. The President appreciated the resilience of rice exporters in dealing with cyclical business slumps as rice industry had been under pressure due to drop in international price of rice.

He noted that the rice sector was the second largest earner of foreign exchange adding that the government was determined to tap the full export potential of the sector and had taken steps to encourage value-addition. President Mamnoon assured REAP of his full support in revitalizing this sector and removing hindrances in increase of rice exports. He said that Rice Research Institute, Kala Shah Kaku and Agriculture University, Faisalabad should also strive to introduce higher yielding seeds in cotton and rice for strengthening the country's economy.

The REAP delegation apprised the President about their proposals for increasing rice exports and also briefed him on their problems relating to formulation of Geographical Indication Law for getting patent right on its Basmati rice, development of new rice seeds, relief in export refinance payment, utilisation of Export Development Fund and grant of industry status to the rice units. The delegation praised the government's policies and initiatives to promote exports of the country.


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