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Rice export on the path of development

Rice export on the path of development

PAGE: How would you comment on Pakistan’s rice processing sector?

Abdul Rahim Janoo: Rice export trade is the second largest export trade of Pakistan with more than US$ 2.5 billion of trade. Rice exports from Pakistan were previously dealt with by the Rice Export Corporation of Pakistan (REAP). After rice exports were allowed to the private sector, a new body of people emerged in the shape of rice exporters.

I am very happy to say that rice exporters from all the provinces are united on the platform of REAP. REAP members are working very hard to fetch valuable foreign exchange for the growth of our beloved country, Pakistan. Rice export trade was only US$300 million when I took over as Chairman of REAP in 2001 and we made it possible to increase up to more than US$2.2 billion in my second tenure in 2008-09. No other commodity has shown such significant growth in the history of Pakistan.

REAP has initiated sending REAP’s trade delegations to many important countries of the world and organized the Biryani Festival, which is instrumental for the benefit of rice export trade.

PAGE: how would you comment on the agriculture sector of Pakistan in the wake of floods?

Abdul Rahim Janoo: This year, heavy rains and floods hit almost all the provinces of Pakistan. Sindh province was the most affected area of Pakistan. Many villages have completely drowned under water. This year we see a shortage of land for the next crops.

Currently, crops of cotton, wheat, and rice are affected. As wheat is an essential part of the diet of the people of Pakistan, we have to cope with the challenges to arrange more quantity of wheat by imports. In addition, we are observing serious challenges for vegetables, although the Government of Pakistan has managed to import vegetables and essential food items from Iran and Afghanistan. As rice is not our staple diet, however, there is approx. 10-15% crop loss is observed in Sindh areas, whereas in Punjab province there seem fewer areas affected by floods. In a nutshell, we can say that the Basmati rice crop is less affected, whereas a shortfall of about 10-15% may be seen in the crop of Non-Basmati rice.

PAGE: What is your perspective on the export of rice during the current fiscal year?

Abdul Rahim Janoo: Alhamdulillah in fiscal year July 2021 to June 2022, we have achieved our ever-highest record in rice exports by exporting 4.9 million metric tons of rice amounting to US$ 2.51 billion. Keeping in view the recent floods, there seems some crop shortage of Non-Basmati rice. However, we are hopeful that still we will be able to achieve more than the US$ 2 billion mark in the Current Fiscal Year 2022-23.

PAGE: Could you describe the quality of Pakistani rice vis-a-vis other countries?

Abdul Rahim Janoo: It is the mercy of Almighty Allah that Pakistan has been blessed with the best quality agricultural/food and other commodities, such as Pakistani rice is the best quality rice in the world. Pakistani Basmati and Non-Basmati rice are very much liked by the people of rice-buying countries. The major buyers of Pakistani Non-Basmati rice are Kenya and China. Although Pakistani Basmati rice is facing tough competition in international markets and it was on the decline last few years, however, with the consistent efforts of Pakistani rice exporters, it is again performing significant growth.

Pakistani companies have a strong marketing network spread all across the country and worldwide. With well-equipped, modern, and state-of-the-art infrastructure, they have the necessary expertise and backbone to meet any scale of demand for any sector. They have vast experience in procurement, storage, processing, and supply of agricultural commodities ensuring that their clients shall get premium-grade products.

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