Pakistan Sets Sight on $10 Billion Rice Exports By 2028

The rice industry aims to achieve a significant boost in exports, targeting exports of $10 billion by 2028.

This surge is anticipated due to a consistent rise in exportable surplus driven by an increasing per-acre paddy yield. Current data indicates that rice exports are projected to reach approximately 4.5 million tonnes in 2023, generating export proceeds of $2.5 billion.

The upswing in export volume is attributed to the production of 9 million tonnes of rice, marking the second-highest production in the country’s history.

Favorable weather conditions, the resilience of growers, ample water and fertilizer availability, along with the exploration of new markets, have contributed to this achievement, according to Hamid Malik, a recognized expert in the rice sector.

A crucial factor influencing this growth is the historically higher Basmati production, particularly the widespread cultivation of the premium C1121 variety in Pakistan.

This stands in contrast to India, where the leading variety is 1509 Basmati. This distinction presents a unique opportunity for exporters to ship higher premium quality at a lower price than India, especially as domestic rates in November (the peak Basmati arrival month) were 28 percent lower than India, as pointed out by Malik.

Shahzad Ali Malik, Chairman of the Pakistan Hitech Hybrid Seed Association and a member of the Export Advisory Council (non-textile), envisions that rice exports alone could reach $10 billion by 2028.

This optimism stems from the continuous rise in rice production, resulting in an increased exportable surplus. He recently discussed a roadmap for achieving this goal during a council meeting. As per the roadmap, rice exports may reach $5 billion by 2025.

Highlighting the substantial increase in rice production in Sindh, Malik notes that, currently, only Sindh has cultivated hybrid varieties, leaving ample room for the whole of Punjab to engage in the production of extra-long grain hybrid varieties, further contributing to a significant export surplus.


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