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Pakistan has new rice target at 5.5m tonnes for 2007-08
On Monday Federal Committee on Agriculture (FCA) will meet with the Federal Minister for Food, Agriculture and Livestock (MINFAL) Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan to fix the rice production target.

Although the government has set a rice production target of 5.7 million tonnes but it is expected that in the next meeting the officials will revise their decision and set a new target of 5.5 million tonnes. The reason to revise the decision is due to the recent floods and damaged crop in Sindh and Punjab belts, which are under pest attack and it is already expected that this year’s production will not increase, sources said.

When Daily Times approached Chairman of the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) Aziz Maniya on this issue, he said a decrease in rice production is expected this year and looking at the current circumstances Ministry of Food Agriculture and Life Stock (MINFAL) should fix the current target with the previous year’s target of 5.4 million tonnes as half of the production is exported while the rest of the half is used for local consumption, he added.

Mr Maniya said from last two to three years rice shortage has been recorded worldwide. Last year a six percent shortage has been recorded in rice production globally. Since November 2006, the international prices of basmati rice have surged by 35 to 40 percent due to crop shortage in leading rice-producing countries and in this season China, Thailand, Vietnam, India and Sri Lanka have reported crop shortages.

Giving the reason of this shortage he said every year population is increasing while the production is not flourishing as it is used to be every year. Therefore there is a need to increase the production of rice and government should take constructive steps to deal with this issue to meet the demand of local market and the export target, he added.

On the other hand few exporters told Daily Times that due to the global shortage the price of rice is rapidly increasing in the international market and to earn more local exporters are exporting those stocks as well that should have been sold locally, which is why the local prices are rising.

According to a leading rice exporter, the country’s rice production was badly effected due to some reasons, which include poor shelling and milling, defective harvesting, deteriorating quality of seed and cultivation of different un-approved varieties of seeds.
MGR Archive 21.10.2007
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Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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