KARACHI, June 23: The Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan plans to hold a ‘Biryani Festival’ in China next month to introduce basmati rice in Chinese society which mostly consumes coarse rice and is not accustomed to aroma rice such as basmati.
Talking to a group of journalists at a luncheon meeting organized by the association for the visiting Chinese official team, REAP vice-chairman Mohammad Anwar Mianoor said that a rice delegation would visit China next month and hold the Biryani Festival to introduce basmati rice there.
He said members of the Chinese delegation after visiting several rice mills and the Quality Regulatory Council (QRC) expressed their satisfaction over the quality of Pakistani rice.
Mr Mianoor pointed out that the team would be submitting its final report on getting back home and expressed the hope that rice exports from Pakistan to China would commence from September this year. He said the objective of the visit of Chinese team was to verify pest control situation in Pakistan and according to an initial finding, the team was satisfied with the performance.
Responding to a question, he said: “Our exporters would not only export coarse rice but also try to promote basmati rice in China.”
The four-member delegation comprises officials from ministries of commerce and agriculture and pests control department of China. The team also visited Karachi and Qasim ports and met Sindh chief secretary.
On an average, Mr Mianoor said, China during the last two to three years had been importing 0.5 million tons of rice, mainly from Thailand and Vietnam, and expressed the hope that Pakistani exporters would manage to get their due share in the Chinese market.
Earlier, a six-member REAP delegation headed by its vice-chairman called on Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad at the Governor’s House and appreciated his services to the province in general and to the business community in particular.
In recognition of his services, the association has decided to present a ‘gold medal’ to Dr Ishratul Ibad. The governor has accepted the request for which a ceremony will be held in the last week of next month.
Mr Mianoor apprised the governor that owing to lack of knowledge and non-availability of quality seeds the rice crop in the province was suffering badly and the crop size was declining. He suggested that to improve the production, the Rice Research Institute Kala Shah Kaku and Dokri should be employed for the development of new varieties of seed.
The Sindh governor assured the delegation that seed development and distribution would be handed over to the private sector and Rs100 million had been already allocated in the new budget. He expressed the hope that after this step new seed varieties and availability of seed in the province would improve.
The delegation also requested the governor to allocate a piece of land of about 500 acres for the rice export zone at the corridor of Northern Bypass in Karachi. It said this would help expand rice trade as it would house new rice processing units and warehousing.
Dr Ibad accepted the proposal with a condition that allottees would install industries within a period of one year and it would not be transferable and even saleable on power of attorney.