Pakistan to export 100 tons of hybrid rice seed this year


Sindh province is all set to become the hub of hybrid seed production in the country, opening up promising prospects of export to several South and South Asian countries, an industry official said on Wednesday.

“With an eye on the hybrid rice seed markets of China, India, Vietnam, and the Philippines, Pakistan has struck the first deal of exporting up to 100 tons of locally produced rice seed this year,” Shahrukh Malik, senior executive at Guard Agricultural Research & Services told a gathering of stakeholders and paddy growers.

“Sindh has been blessed with ideal conditions for the cultivation of hybrid rice. Having a strong support of Chinese research and development expertise, a team of scientists succeeded in growing high-yielding hybrid rice in the rice zones of lower and upper Sindh.”

Malik added the rice varieties being cultivated in these areas for over a decade have been proved to have heat-resistance characteristics, coupled with least susceptibility to lodging of plants.

“Badin and adjoining districts provide ideal conditions for growing hybrid rice varieties having greater vigor and sturdy stem in coastal belt proved very successful in these conditions,” he said.

The rice research official added that local farmers were getting a yield of over 130maund (1 maund is equal to 40kg) per acre from the hybrid rice being marketed by Guard.

“The introduction of hybrid rice seed back in 2,000 helped local farmers increase their income manifold,” Malik said adding this consistence rise in their income is now going to convert into foreign exchange earnings for the country.  He informed the audience the proposals to make production and trade of hybrid rice seed a part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) were being actively considered by the two countries. “Rice seed cultivation in China is becoming expensive by the day and Pakistan is poised to grab this opportunity,” he observed.

Malik maintained that his company presently enjoyed about 50 percent share in the country’s hybrid rice seed market.

“Out of about one million acres of land, over 0.45 million acres were being sown with the hybrid rice seed provided by our company,” he said. Speaking on the occasion, Chai, a Chinese scientist, said despite high temperature and gusty winds, hybrid rice crops have proved to be very successful in the area.

Dai, another Chinese official, said that Pakistan-China partnership in rice production created a win-win situation for both countries.

“Farming community and private sector are getting equally benefited from this venture,” Dai said expressing the hope this partnership would thrive down the line.


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