As heavy rains continue in many parts of Sindh, 15 per cent the rice crop, which is considered the only cereal that can stand water submergence, has been damaged in the province so far.
non-Basmati rice to be affected
Though the rice belt of the province, which produces almost 30 per cent of the country’s total production of rice, has remained less affected by the devastating rains, the overall damages are estimated at 10 to 15 per cent as of September 8; sources in Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) said. However, further rains and floods could harm and devastate the crop in the rice belt of the districts like Larkana, Jacobabad, Qambar-Shahdadkot, Kashmore, and Shikarpur. However, with the devastation of rain which played havoc with cotton, onion, chilly and vegetables crops massively across the province, the continued downpour, wet weather, may cause the attacks of Stem Borer, Hopper and Mille bug on the paddy crops. As the province produces non-Basmati rice, the export of the same product is likely to be affected during the financial year 2011-2012, they added. The growers of rice and cotton should be compensated against the losses suffered with immediate arrangement of surveys and estimates of the damages, they added.
Exports of rice increase by 9 per cent
Despite the lack of facilities and energy crisis in the country, the exports of rice during July and August 2011 have increased by 9 per cent as compared to the corresponding months of last year. According to Acting Chairman, REAP Taufiq Ahmed Khan, the figure of rice export data in July 2011 is 107,288 M/T worth $93 Million. He said during July 2010 to August 2010 532,539 M/T of Rice valuing $290,991,835 were exported to various destination of the world, whereas during the last two months around 485,025 M/T of rice worth $319576,784 has been exported. Though, the export volume of rice has reduced but the revenue earned from rice exports has increase by 9 per cent according to the data recorded at REAP, he added.
It was encouraging that despite the flood and energy crisis in the country, Taufiq said that the Rice Export Sector was playing a positive role to boost the country’s economy. He said that the association was closely monitoring the affects of current rains in the country especially in Sindh, where the crop of non-Basmati rice was being affected by monsoon rains. He negated the impression that over 50 per cent of the paddy crop was damaged by the fresh rains.