BEIJING: Demand for Pakistani rice in China has increased recently for its fine taste, texture and aroma. The Pakistani long-grain rice has proven to be better than the rice that is currently imported from Thailand and Vietnam.
Pakistani rice exported to China has increased by 244% during the last four years. President of Pakistan-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI), S.M Naveed said, “China has emerged as one of the destinations for Pakistani rice exports, as reflected in a 244% increase”.
He said that the dream of exporting around 10 million tons of irri-6 rice to China can be realized if sustained efforts to export Pakistani rice to China are pursued. New hybrid rice varieties are being developed in Pakistan which will give maximum yield by utilizing minimum input costs and irrigation water.
According to the PCJCCI Senior Vice President Daud Ahmed, the new technique of rice production based on a broadcasting system is not only cheaper but also helps to save 30-35 percent irrigation water.
Currently, Pakistan earns around $2 billion annually from the rice export. By lowering its cost of production, it can earn from $4-5 billion per year. Moreover, the government is trying to register its Basmati rice and once it’s registered, the rice can be sold at a premium price.
Pakistan is listed as one of the top ten largest rice producer in the world. As rice is not a staple diet of the local people, more than 60% of rice is surplus and available for export purposes. On the other hand, rice has remained as staple food for over 60% of China’s population and accounts for 40% of the total national cereals consumption.
Pakistan ranked at the top in competitiveness among the major rice exporters. In order to utilize the potential benefits of rice exports, we need to fortify the competitiveness of the rice sector in Pakistan.