RICE PRODUCTION IN PAKISTAN

S.KAMAL HAYDER KAZMI,
Research Analyst
, PAGE
July 28 - Aug 03, 2008

Pakistan is known as the producer of the world's finest and aromatic Basmati Rice having different varieties including Super Kernel, Basmati Rice 385. Other varieties of rice produced in Pakistan include Brown Rice and Parboiled Rice is the special types and forms of Rice in Pakistan.

Rice prices continue to rise in the face of international market demand growth. The situation makes the task of the new government extremely difficult in controlling food inflation as the common man continues to be burdened by high fuel to food costs. Ban on rice export may be seen as the easiest option to improve supply and control the prices. The farmers' associations across Punjab and Sindh have disapproved the latest procurement price which is far below the international market rates, while prices of inputs (DAP and urea) are closely linked with global prices.

CURRENT PRICES OF RICE

TYPE OF RICE

WHOLESALE PRICE (RS PER KG)

RETAIL PRICE (RS PER KG)

Super Dhamaka

127

130

Super Kernel Old

115

120

Ponam Rice

102

105

Super Chilghoza

97

100

Super Kernel Sela King Marka

97

100

Super Rice 86 New

70

74

Rice Aery 9

60

64

RICE CONSUMPTION

The consumption of Rice is increasing slowly in comparison to wheat. About 60% of the crop is destined for local consumption and the remainder is exported. The government does not maintain grade standards for rice. An estimated 150,000 metric tons of 40% to 100% broken rice is used in the poultry feed annually.

RICE EXPORTS

The major destinations for rice exports are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, India and South Africa. Basmati rice exports in different countries like, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Kingdom, Bahrain and Kuwait. In Pakistan, rice maintained its first position in its group during Dec, 2007 as in the previous month. U.A.E was the leading buyer of rice during July to Dec, 2007 with its share of 25.31% in the total exports of this item. Other major buyers were Oman (6.88%), Madagascar (5.50%), Kenya (4.57%), Yemen (4.55%), Iran (4.51%) and Saudi Arabia (4.48%). These seven countries accounted for 55.80% of total exports of rice during that period.

(QUANTITY IN ' TONES)
(VALUE IN MILLION RS.)

COMMODITY

JULY - DECEMBER, 2007

JULY - DECEMBER, 2006

 

QUANTITY

VALUE

QUANTITY

VALUE

Total

1,059.232

32,586.62

1,486.859

31,304.03

U.A.E.

200,782

8,247.06

217,246

7,322.41

Oman

52,341

2,240.75

33,937

1,086.37

Madagascar

84,155

1,793.37

34,146

489.01

Kenya

89,697

1,489.34

128,946

1,674.61

Yemen

36,969

1,481.30

25,987

750.30

Iran (Islamic Rep.)

52,711

1,470.28

129,508

2,888.05

Saudi Arabia

39,810

1,461.20

35,555

911.37

Others

502,767

14,403.31

881,624

16,181.91

MAIN CHALLENGES

Pakistan has a significant portion of rice crop which is destroyed and wasted due to improper handling and lack of storage facilities and logistics. If this wastage is reduced, the rice production will increase and prices will stabilized. The local prices of rice have increased due to large export of rice which is not right for the country. The government needs to take serious action against the smuggling of rice as it is affecting the availability and price of rice in the market. This rice smuggled across the border through semi-barter trading goes undocumented and does not bring any foreign exchange or any income tax earnings. The first priority of the government should be to ensure that rice is not smuggled into other countries instead it is exported via official channels. As part of the overall agricultural strategy in Pakistan, the future of rice cultivation should also be carefully chalked out. There is a need to increase research and technical expertise of farmers with reference to rice cultivation.

OVERVIEW

No doubt, rice is the major exports of Pakistan because our country exports rice in a huge amount. However, it is the responsibility of the government to ensure the supply of rice within the country. During the past few months of 2008, the prices of rice doubled which has become very tough to buy rice for a common person. On the other hand, Pakistan exports rice at a low price in the international market. Govt should rethink their strategy and agricultural policy. Increase in research and technical expertise of farmers with reference to rice cultivation also needs to be ensured. Pakistan has a capacity to earn eight to 10 billions dollars through rice exports. Last year, rice crop through hybrid technology was cultivated on more than 150,000 acres of land in Pakistan and growers got double in production. For the first time in the country private sector, after two-year successful trial based on seven-year field research, have evolved a new variety of extra long grain hybrid rice with better yield. With the adoption of rice hybrids in place of existing coarse rice varieties, the rice production could be doubled, which could add billions of rupees in the income of rice growers, besides strengthening the national economy.