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Rice in Pakistan: Present Scenario, Trade, Problems and Prospects


Pakistan is the 11th largest producer and 4th largest exporter of rice. Rice accounts for 3.2% of the value added in agriculture sector and 0.7% of GDP in Pakistan. During the fiscal year 2015-16, rice export earned foreign exchange of US$ 1.86 billion. During the same period, rice was planted on an area of 2.8 million hectares. Production of rice during 2015-16 was estimated at 6.9 million tons. As rice is the second staple food and contributes about 2.8 million tons to Pakistan’s domestic consumption, each household in Pakistan spends on an average about 3.8 percent of its total food expenditure on rice and rice flour. Pakistan exports both high-quality Basmati rice which sells at a substantial premium in high-income markets as well as intermediate and low quality non-aromatic long grain milled rice to developing countries, mostly in East Africa where it competes with China and Vietnam, and in South Asia. Pakistan’s Basmati rice typically sells at a lower price than India’s Basmati. For all rice, Sub-Saharan Africa, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Middle East and the EU are leading export markets for Pakistan.

Neelam Shahzadi, Zulqarnain Haider*, Muhammad Akhter, Usman Saleem and Abid Mahmood

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