Pakistani rice: Second to all

In Pakistan’s context, rice statistics are beautiful spectacular. Sown on 2.89 million hectares (about 10 per cent of overall cropping house), it earned $2 billion (around 8pc of export source of revenue) for the country.

Put it in the agricultural context, it is 2nd to wheat in acreage and, in financial terms, only second to cotton (and its allied merchandise as consistent with Pakistan Bureau of Statistics information) in export profits. It accounts for 3.1pc of value-addition within the agriculture sector and varyingly contributes 1.3-1.6pc to the GDP.

Multiply the domestic expenses on brand development with the dollars exchange rate (140 at time of reporting) and one will know why no one has dared developing international brands

Last year, it assumed added importance when manufacturing hit 7.4 million tonnes placing Pakistan on the record of the 10 largest producers on the world rice chart. According to the Economic Survey of Pakistan (2017-18), the world underneath rice larger by way of 6.4pc — 2.74 million hectares in 2016-17 to 2.89 million hectares and production swelled by means of 8.7 in line with cent — from 6.84 million tonnes to 7.44 million tonnes.

Both those elements helped Pakistan put up a 28pc building up in rice export. According to data from the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (Reap), it despatched out a little bit over four million tonnes (for $2 billion) in 2018, as in comparison to three.44 million tonnes for $1.6 billion in 2017. This showed a significant expansion of 27.7 in line with cent when it comes to value and 17 according to cent in relation to quantity.

As far as profiling of rice is concerned, its 3 board classes are: basmati (long grain and fragrant), coarse (IRRI type) and a generic term known as “others.” The remaining kind accommodates of hybrid, unapproved and a few smuggled sorts that have crept in because of comfy official regulate.

What adds to nationwide seed confusion is the fact that the country has licensed 108 sorts in the remaining 15 years — from 2003 to 2018. All of them at the moment are entitled to sale. However, handiest 48 of them are in reality released and located within the box, relying on requirements of different ecological zones. It is the Chinese hybrids that have made the adaptation in the ultimate two years.

Punjab (with all kinds of basmati, super, IRRI and hybrids) leads the nationwide production scale with a contribution of 53laptop. Sindh (IRRI and hybrids) follows with 26pc, Balochistan (IRRI, hybrids) with 12pc and the rest 9pc comes from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which has many native coarse types for hills and plains. Punjab’s contribution may increase as hybrid types are now getting more space whilst competing vegetation lose economic sheen.

It takes about 3,000 to 5,000 litres of water to produce one kilogram of rice

However, this satisfied rice situation has two sore points: it is still stuck in a low yield groove and failing in world retail markets. Despite a large inflow of seeds, Pakistan has no longer been able to wreck beyond 2.56 tonnes according to hectares production. The international reasonable is 4.7 tonnes per hectare manufacturing. With prime yielding seeds and recommended practices, 4 tonnes per hectare is easily achievable.

The federal Ministry for Food Security and Research took an initiative in 2015 for bettering yield and tradable surpluses and enlisted the Chinese for lend a hand. For the next two years, all sides made a beeline towards every others’ fields and laboratories. It resulted in higher hybrid seeds arriving in Pakistan and making a difference the very next yr i.e. 2018.

Last year’s three-pronged build up was the results of the same effort: the area increased via 6.4pc, production went up by means of 8.7pc and moderate yield jumped from 825 kilogram per acre in 2010-11 to over 1,000 kilograms.

Despite this, improvements on the supply side and corresponding projects on the marketing facet — domestic and world — is still a distant dream. Exports are in large part limited to bulk dumping in Middle Eastern markets while brand development is inspired for domestic markets. These brands can then transcend national borders and claim a distinct segment in the world marketplace.

Multiply the domestic expenses on brand development with the dollars exchange rate (140 at time of reporting) and one will know why no one has dared developing international brands

Agreeing to the argument that home brand development is important for claiming a share in international retail markets someday, Shahzad Malik, one of the biggest rice brand house owners, isn’t much hopeful in regards to the prospects. “The domestic market is overwhelmingly dominated by unfastened sales. There is hardly ever any quality consciousness for manufacturers. Since emblem construction is a dear workout — entailing an enormous and sustained media presence — buyers keep away from it as a result of there’s no premium on it. That is why one can depend home rice brands on arms.

One or two brands, which have emerged on the domestic scene in the previous couple of years, are restricted to supplying to international chains like Metro or Hyperstar. Considering funding on brand construction as dear, they take the straightforward and temporary route of open gross sales to home markets, he stated.

“Multiply the domestic expenses on brand development with the dollars exchange rate (140 at time of reporting) and one will know why no one has dared developing international brands,” stated one member of Reap, who did not need to be named. Since no Pakistani brand has an instantaneous share in the world retail market, nearly all exports are dumped in Dubai for many who have the proportion and should buy it for repackaging and re-export. Translating this domestic luck in overseas benefit wishes policy space, making plans, funding and sustained manufacturing, which is the missing link thus far, he pointed out.


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