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Scope of Basmati, Coarse and Hybrid Rice in Pakistan

Introduction:

The commercialization of hybrid basmati rice is scheduled to occur in 2020-21 with the growth of a high-yielding fine rice seed. “After an arduous process, our scholars, with the help of Chinese experts, have progressed to the stage of carrying out the seed’s trial.” Making a new seed variety, on the other hand, requires at least 7 to 8 years, according to research. This year, Breeders are dealing with several issues that have arisen in the growth of the hybrid basmati variety.

With the sale of hybrid seeds for coarse rice varieties, many farmers in Sindh and Baluchistan have been able to double per-acre yield, lowering production costs and greatly increasing their revenue.

At the national level, a massive increase in rice production has resulted in an export surplus and an enormous increase in export earnings. “We suppose hybrid basmati rice yield to upsurge to 70 to 80 mounds per acre, which is closely double the existing average yield.The new hybrid variety will have an extra-long grain that will lengthen after cooking.

The government expects the hybrid basmati variety to retain some aroma, though it is not one of the main characteristics of new varieties being cultivated in other countries. Because the hybrid basmati rice available in global markets today lacked aroma, it was no longer a distinguishing feature of the rice variety.

It is a fly zone for all stakeholders involved in the development of the national economy. Punjab farmers will be able to create value exponentially with the addition of new hybrid basmati varieties, and exports to conventional markets will increase.

Targeted Areas for Rice Cultivation:

The soil and climatic conditions needed for basmati rice cultivation are available in a specific tract of land that runs through the 8 districts of the Kallar tract of Punjab, Pakistan. The soils are fine-textured and have a greater water-holding capacity. And therefore it is suitable for rice farming, which necessitates a significant amount of water during the early growing season – prior to the full-effective cover time. Because of the scorching heat, the sowing conditions are peculiar for rice. Rice is harvested in puddled fields in temperatures that can reach 45 degrees Celsius or higher. The humidity is high, and the drudgery is exacerbated by the sun’s blinding reflection in hot water.

Key Findings:

  • Revolutionary rice farming processes and machinery, combined with good agricultural practises, will greatly increase farming efficiency; however, these must be further improved and extended to cover both those crops in the rice-wheat farming zone in order to optimise small farmers’ returns.
  • Rice farmers are eager to learn and embrace advanced agricultural methods and new machinery, as well as timely technical advice.
  • Private sector network operators in rural regions indicated an interest in providing services to farmers and pursuing possibilities in the rice-wheat zone’s rural areas, spanning the entire value chain.
  • Researchers played vital roles in providing appropriate technical advice to producers and service providers in a reasonable timeframe through the use of communication and information technology alternatives.

Modern Rice Varieties:

After the introduction of Irri rice in 1968, advanced rice varieties were quickly adopted in Pakistan. Due to the obvious high solar radiation and ample irrigation water, the rice variety Irri was allegedly succeeding in Pakistan. When performed carefully, Irri yielded three to four times more than local varieties, allowing the country to raise rice production.

Rice Production in Pakistan:

Pakistan is the world’s leading rice producer. It produces approximately of 6 million tonnes per year and, along with the rest of South Asia, is responsible for 25 percent of the world’s paddy rice output. The majority of these crops are cultivated in the fertile Sindh and Punjab regions, where rice farming is the primary source of income for millions of farmers. The Basmati, renowned for its taste and quality, is one of the most well-known varieties cultivated in Pakistan. Rice production is divided into 40% Basmati (Fine) rice and 60% coarse rice.

Global Rice Market:

Thailand, Vietnam, India, and Pakistan have dominated the worldwide rice market, accounting for 60 to 70 per cent of total exports. Thailand has maintained its position as the world’s leading rice exporter. Since a few exporters have led the export side, the import side appears to be very fragmented, with a number of nations each having to import a small quantity of rice

Future Prospects:

Necessitating global competitors from India, Pakistan’s rice exports in fiscal 2021 totalled 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 ton for non-basmati rice. The government should provide subsidies to paddy farmers in order to improve yield quality, similar to how India receives around $30 billion in subsidies to its agricultural industry each year through subsidised urea and electricity for tube wells.

Shoukat Ali, Haroon Zaman Khan , Asif Iqbal, Muhammad Ashfaq Wahid and Muhammad Farrukh Saleem

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