RICE PRODUCTION AND VARIETIES

M. R. CHAUDHRY
Feb 18 - 24, 2008

It is conceived that rice cultivation started in the area of Baali of Indonesia in 3000 B.C. Now rice is a popular diet throughout the world. Production-wise following are the largest rice producing countries:

NAME OF THE COUNTRY

SHARE IN THE WORLD'S PRODUCTION OF RICE

China

29.0 percent

India

21.51

Indonesia

8.57

Bangladesh

6.89

Vietnam

5.64

Pakistan's share in the world's production of rice is 1.28 percent and production-wise it occupies the 12th position in the world but it enjoys great reputation in the international market for its Basmati rice. Pakistan earns substantial foreign exchange by exporting Basmati rice every year. During the year, 2006-07 Pakistan exported 3129142 metric tons of rice, which valued $1.125,819 (000) (about $1.126 billion), in which the share of Basmati rice was 49.14 percent. Rice was exported to Dubai, Kenya, Oman, Yemen, Singapore, Saudi Arabia and many other countries.

More than 57 percent of Basmati variety of rice is produced in the province of Punjab because the soil, climatic and ecological conditions of some of its districts suit this variety. Because of its special, pleasing, delicate flavor and long grain it is very favorite and popular in the international market. It is also called "Queen of Fragrance". Gujranwala, Sheikhupura, Sialkot, Hafizabad and Okara are respectively well known districts where this variety of rice is produced.

During the month of November, 2007 some increase in prices of super Basmati was observed in some big markets of Punjab, which was more than 1.23 percent. During December, 2007 this upward trend in prices shot up to 60.09 percent. Prices of rice during the last two years remained low. Because of low production world-wide, the international rates went high but these prices rose when farmers had disposed of their rice crop. Therefore, farmers could not benefit from this upward trend of prices. The short production of rice last year is also affecting and increasing the prices of the commodity this year. The rising prices of rice indicate that consumption is on higher side and its price may still rise. New crop of rice has come in the market but the prices have not shown any downward trend.

Following table will show a comparison of prices during December 2006 and December, 2007:

PRICE MARKET (PAK RUPEE) 100 KG.

COMPARISON %AGE
 

DEC. 2007

NOV. 
2007

DEC. 
2006

NOV.2007 WITH DEC. 2007

DEC.2007 WITH DEC.2006

Lahore

4833

4867

3108

-0.69

55.50

Faisalabad

5000

4875

3075

2.56

62.60

Sargodha

4500

4385

2656

2.62

69.42

Multan

4844

4969

3113

-2.52

55.62

Gujranwala

4692

4558

3183

2.93

47.38

Okara

4867

4650

3056

4.66

59.24

Rawalpindi

5500

5500

3304

0.00

66.46

R.Y. Khan

5300

5250

3200

0.95

65.63

Average

4942

4882

3087

1.23

60.09

In regard to retail prices, previously prices of Super Basmati was Rs.40 per kg, Irri-9 Rs.25 to Rs.30 and Irri-6 Rs.18-20 per k g. Presently Super Basmati is being sold at Rs.60-70, Irri-9 from Rs.32-40 and Irri-6 at Rs.22-30. Prices may further rise because of the increasing trend of the prices and the price for Super Basmati may go up to Rs.100 per kg. The exporters are optimistic to export rice worth $.1.5 billion because of the rising demand in the international market. In April 2007 283,535 metric tons of rice was exported as compared to 266,996 metric tons in March, 2007. It has been noticed that local prices of both Basmati and Non-Basmati varieties have almost doubled during this season. It may be worthwhile to mention that as a general principle the prices of the commodities of daily use also depend upon the prevailing prices of wheat and atta, which have also an impetus on the prices of rice locally.

RICE IRRI:

Although some quantity of Irri-6 is produced in districts Kasur and Okara of Punjab, most of the Irri varieties are produced in the province of Sindh. This province produces around 60 percent of total rice produced by the country. Punjab producing 19 percent Irri rice stands second in the production of this variety. Irri rice is mostly exported. The total export of Irri rice from Pakistan is more than 51 percent. During the year, 2007 Pakistan exported 2221236 metric tons of Irri rice, which is worth $569,499 (thousand). The average production of this variety is 1.9 million tons per year. Its average production is twice as much as that of Basmati. Larkana, Nawab Shah, and Shikarpur area the main rice producing districts in Sindh. There is an extra-ordinary up-shoot of prices of rice during 2007 and 2008. Fifty to sixty percent increase in prices of rice has been observed in the local market.

The following table would show the increase in prices of Irri during December 2007 as compared to November, 2007 and December, 2006:

PRICE MARKET (PAK RUPEE) 100 KG.

COMPARISON %AGE
 

DEC. 2007

NOV. 2007

DEC. 2006

NOV.2007 WITH DEC. 2007

DEC.2007 WITH DEC.2006

Lahore

2032

2030

1306

0.10

.55.59

Faisalabad

1975

1879

1184

5.11

66.85

Sargodha

2022

2019

1334

0.15

51.56

Multan

1878

1866

1291

0.65

45.53

Gujranwala

1896

1905

1340

-0.48

41.48

Okara

1925

1858

1264

3.61

52.29

Rawalpindi

2225

2117

1435

5.10

55.05

R.Y. Khan

1952

1879

1300

3.89

50.16

Average

1988

1944

1307

2.26

52.15