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Rice output to be increased for exports

ISLAMABAD: The government is fully focused on enhancing per acre yield of rice to boost exports of the commodity, said Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan.

Speaking at a training course on hybrid rice technology, he said new rice varieties would help farmers to increase their yield, which would enable the country to export more to other countries.

To improve rice variety, it was necessary to have good quality seeds as they would increase the crop’s yield, the minister added. “Pakistan will continue to encourage the private sector to engage in agricultural research.”

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Bosan said rice was among major crops of the country and had a big share in exports, hence, the government would continue to make all-out efforts to increase production.

The training course was initiated in mid-September by Pakistan and China to work together on the awareness programme for introducing hybrid rice for productivity enhancement, profitability and extra surplus for exports.

The hybrid rice seed has been developed by Chinese researchers. Accordingly, seminars were arranged by the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (Parc) and China Yuan LongPing High-Tech Agriculture in all four ecological zones of the country.

The purpose of the seminar was to understand exact hybrid seed requirements of Pakistan for different regions and showcase the hybrid rice varieties. Speaking on the occasion, Parc Chairman Dr Yusuf Zafar said cooperation between Pakistan and China under CPEC had led to exports of hybrid rice for the first time.