The Variety Evaluation Committee of Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) has approved 7 new rice verities for commercial cultivation across the crop sowing areas of the country.
The Committee which met with Chairman PARC in the Chair, discussed the characteristics of different verities of rice seeds for commercial cultivation and their impact on per-acre yield.
The National Coordinator on Rice of PARC presented working paper for all thirty three proposals of rice hybrids varieties for recommendation to the Federal Seed Certification and Registration Department. The Committee recommended 7 rice hybrid varieties for commercial cultivation in the country. Representatives of seed companies appreciated the role of PARC for setting the new bench marks for testing of rice hybrids varieties for the benefits of farmers as well as rice sector in Pakistan.
Addressing the meeting, PARC Chairman Muhammad Ayub Chaudhry appreciated the role of private and public sector for taking interest in research and development of rice in the country.
He briefed about upcoming projects on rice under Prime Minister Imran Khan's National Agriculture Emergency Program and said that he was happy to see foreigners participating in the Committee's meeting.
Meanwhile, Dr Abdul Ghafoor, Member, Plant Sciences Division, PARC emphasized the role of quality seed for the productivity and profitability of farmers and appreciated the role of seed companies and public sector institutes for making efforts to improve the potential of rice hybrids/varieties in Pakistan.
Earlier the research on these varieties was carried out at the rice research laboratory of National Agriculture Research Centre. A senior official of NARC stated that, following the approval by the committee, the new hybrids of rice can now be imported from China.
So far, 130 different varieties of rice have been developed of which at least twelve varieties are currently sown by farmers in rice growing areas of the country. Punjab is the largest in terms of the crop's production, followed by Sindh and then the remaining parts.
Rice is an important cash crop of Pakistan and the overall national economy. Rice accounts 2.7% of the value added in agriculture and 0.6% of GDP. Rice ranks as second amongst the staple food grain crop in Pakistan and it has been a major source of foreign exchange earnings in recent years.
There are 3 kinds of rice varieties in Pakistan, which are produced for local consumption and export. These are Basmati (aromatic), IRRI variety (medium long grain) and bold grain (cold tolerant varieties). Throughout the world, Basmati rice is quite famous for its pleasant aroma combined with eating qualities and perfect cooking. The medium long grain rice varieties are usually produced in Sindh region and provide superior yield than basmati rice varieties.
The rice exports from Pakistan in fiscal 2012-13 crossed 3.4 million tonnes, valued at $.1.19 billion at an average price of $ 936.6 per tonne for Basmati rice, and $ 460.8 per tonne for non-basmati rice, which is an important achievement despite tough international competition with India.
On an average the country produces around 6.0 million tonnes of rice annually and after meeting domestic consumption of around 2.0 million tonnes, some 4.0 million tonnes are exported. The government should intervene and ensure that rice prices should remain close to regional competitors, particularly India so that exporters could keep their share in the world market.
Like India, Pakistan exports both high-quality Basmati rice which sells at a substantial premium in high-income markets as well as intermediate and low quality non-aromatic long grain milled rice to developing countries, mostly in East Africa where it competes with China and Vietnam, and in South Asia. Pakistan's Basmati rice typically sells at a lower price than India. For all rice, Sub-Saharan Africa, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Middle East and the EU are leading export markets for Pakistan.
Rice exports reached record US$ 932.3 million, showing an extraordinary increase of US$ 297.8 million (46.9 percent) during FY 05 despite a fall in unit values. Export values of basmati rice and other varieties stood at US$ 439 and US$ 493.6 respectively.
Futures Contract of Rice would provide hedging platform for progressive growers,millers, manufacturers of Value Added Products, traders, exporters and investors.
Rice futures price is important to farmers, millers, exporters. All groups can use futures price or price discovery as information to direct their businesses or to manage their risk.
In addition, exporters can use futures exchange as hedging tools to manage their risk. They can buy rice futures contract and sell futures contract before the first delivery notice day called“offset”, then the exporters take profit or loss from contract price difference. If they buy high and sell higher, they will gain from buying futures contract. In contrast, they will lose from buying futures contract if buying high and selling low.
In cash market, exporters can buy or sell rice futures contract in which they may take profit or lose as well. Fortunately, they will gain in future exchanges but lose in cash market. And the gain covers their losses, so they will take profit.