November 28, 2018 ( The News International )
LARKANA: Farmers, millers and exporters of rice have agreed to adopt latest water conservation, harvesting as well as milling measures to improve quantity, quality and exports of rice.
Stakeholders were of the view that by adopting latest measures being practiced in the neighbouring countries - India and Bangladesh, the country would be able to save water and increase the production.
They said at least 20 percent crop was lost during the poor post harvesting process and at least 50 percent of the water could be saved by levelling the land.
Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) hosted a two-day thought provoking conference ‘REAP Rice Conference 2018’ on Monday and Tuesday at a local hall in Larkana with the support of stakeholders, including Sindh Chamber of Agriculture (SCA), Sindh Abadgar Board, and Sindh and Balochistan Rice Millers and Traders Association. Larkana division is the centre for non-basmati rice production in the country.
The conference conducted four sessions on farming, pesticide usage, milling and exports during the two days, besides discussing all important aspects started from sowing to exports.
Pakistan’s rice exports had been struggled at around $2 billion for a decade, which needed measures to improve seed, harvesting, milling and exports. Pakistan’s total rice production was around 741 million tons, of which 52 percent production was exported.
Qabool Muhammad Khatian, chairman, SCA, said rice prices improved during the last one and half year, however, cost was increasing every year. “Water crisis is increasing, until farmers go for laser levelling of their lands, water crisis will not be controlled,” he said.
He said the country needed to make exportable items like China was developing the exportable items.