Rice is always a cash crop but need reforms in trade plan and true govt. support
Interview with Mr. Abdul Rahim Janoo, a leading businessman for agro-based products
Nature of business:
Export:- rice, grain, agrobased products, spices/sugar/wheat & by products.
Import: Milk powder/tea/rubber/spices.
- Hina Exports
- Hina Investments
- Hina Petroleum
- Haji Razak Janoo memorial trust largest family trust in world for free eye charity and surgery, organizers of Baba Fareed free laser surgery camps in Pakistan and Bangladesh.
- Jama Masjid Al Razak
- Jama Masjid Hamida
- Jama Masjid Mustafa
- Jama Masjid Ali Haider Karar
- Jama Masjid Umer
President: International Memon Organization (IMO)
- Ex-Senior Vice President FPCCI 2015
- Ex-Chairman Reap 2001-2003 And 2009
- Ex-Member Federal Export Board
- Ex-Vice Chairman Rice Board, Govt Of Pakistan
- Ex-President Dhoraji Cooperative Housing Society
- Ex-Chairman Pakistan Economic Forum
- Gold Medal from Prime Minister of Pakistan 2005
- Gold Medal from Prime Minister of Pakistan 2007
- Gold Medal from Prime Minister of Pakistan 2015 for increasing Pakistan’s Exports
- Gold Medal from President of Pakistan 2007, 2013, 2015 For Largest Charity Services
- Gold Medal from Govt Of Sweden 2003 on Best Presentation In Stockholm Conference
- Gold Medal for Paper Pak-African Trade at CBM 2007
- Appreciation shield in International Rice Conference Singapore 2009
- Was given Title Maseeha For Humanity by President of Pakistan 2006 for works for ailing humanity
- Two roads named in Karachi and Pakpattan, third one approved in Karachi.
- Led delegations to 14 countries and also has been member of Prime Minister and President of Pakistan various delegations.
PAGE: What are your views on food dependency in Pakistan and do you think our agriculture sector can meet our food demands in the days to come?
Abdul Rahim Janoo: Agriculture sector is the back bone of Pakistan. It accounts for 26% of gross domestic product (GDP) of the country. It is the blessing of Almighty Allah on Pakistan that it is self-sufficient in many fields particularly in agriculture and food. Pakistan is 12th largest producer of rice in the world. Pakistan is also among the largest top three dairy producing countries of the world. We are confident that our agriculture sector has enough capabilities to cater to the domestic demand of food.
PAGE: Kindly tell us something about the production of rice in Pakistan:
Abdul Rahim Janoo: Rice is the third largest crop in terms of area after wheat and cotton. The share of rice in the value of export of major agricultural commodities is around 10%. There are two main varieties of Pakistani rice, i.e. Basmati rice and non Basmati rice. Major share of Basmati rice is grown in Punjab, whereas non Basmati rice is mainly grown in Sindh. Annual rice crop of Pakistan is ranging from 6.5 to 7.0 million metric tons. Domestic consumption of rice is around 2.0 million metric tons. As rice is not our staple diet, surplus stock is available for export purpose, which generate handsome amount of foreign exchange which is the back bone of our economy. Therefore, rice crop is called as cash crop.
PAGE: What are your views on rice seed quality and development for better yield of rice crops?
Abdul Rahim Janoo: No Research & Development work has been done to introduce new seeds of rice and both the Rice Research Institutes at Kala Shah Kaku and Dokri have never introduced new seed of rice during last 10-15 years. For the survival of rice export trade, it is recommended that REAP Members must be included in the Boards of both RRI or both RRIs should be privatized and with the Public Private partnership, new rice seeds with better yield may be introduced and rice exports may be increased. Right now many companies are importing hybrid seeds of rice but we must have to make a check and balance on those seeds, so that they match with our climate conditions and are not harmful to our agriculture environment.
PAGE: What are your suggestions and expectations from the upcoming budget for rice sector?
Abdul Rahim Janoo: REAP (Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan) always raises its voice to safeguard all the stakeholders of rice, i.e. growers, millers, traders, exporters etc. REAP has been sending its recommendations for annual budget and last year, Government of Pakistan also considered some points. However, it is the need of hour to give due consideration to rice export sector like other five export sectors which are included in zero rated tax regime. We hope that Government of Pakistan is keen to increase exports of Pakistan and our Ministry of Commerce is also putting their efforts in this regard.
Rice export trade is facing several challenges, as this second largest industry has not been given proper support and if government does not support this industry, this 2.2 billion dollar industry will be badly affected.