Surplus rice and maize crops to be exported in new markets



Chairman United Business Group in Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Shahzad Ali Malik said surplus crops of rice and maize would be exported to new destinations including African markets for earning direly much-needed foreign exchange.

Addressing the one day all Pakistan Chambers Presidents Conference at Rahim Yar Khan Chamber, he stressed the urgent need for establishing imports substitution industries in Pakistan without loss of time to narrow down the yawning trade deficit and on the other hand, equally emphasised the vital significance of adding the new products in the export basket rather than only relying on textile and surgical, etc.

He said there was a vast scope of exports to African countries and new global markets must be explored on top priority which he added would help a lot in stabilizing the balance of payment.

He said the use of hi-tech hybrid seeds resulted in bumper crops of rice and maize and its credit goes to the private sector which invented new disease-resistant and pest-free varieties to increase yield per acre.

He stressed the need for evolving new hi-tech hybrid seeds for other field crops of cotton, wheat and sugarcane.

He said Pakistan’s economy was agro-based and Pakistan imports nearly $14 billion in edible oil, oil seeds, cotton and wheat annually which he added can be brought to zero level if government sincerely focuses on the promotion of the agriculture sector on modern scientific lines taking all stakeholders into confidenceShahzad Ali Malik said if the government takes care of its proposals and recommendations in letter and spirit, it will not only bring agricultural revolution in the country but also surplus agri products could be exported at high international rates.

He said if half of the same amount spent on the imports of agro-based products is invested in growers, farmers, and peasants in Pakistan, it will not only comfortably meet the food staple needs of the ever-growing population but surplus can be exported.

Nearly 50 presidents of chambers of commerce and industries across the country participated in the conference and put forth their viable proposals.

He thanked the president Rahim Yar Khan Chamber Iqbal for hosting the conference and lauded the group chairman Rauf Mukhtar’efforts making the event a success.—APP