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Pakistan is Aiming for $10 Billion Annual Rice Exports by 2030

Pakistan has set an ambitious goal to increase annual rice exports to $10 billion by 2030, representing a fourfold surge from the current $2.5 billion.

This initiative is part of the country’s broader strategy to diversify its export portfolio and explore new markets, as discussed during the maiden Export Advisory Council Meeting on Friday.

Chaired by Commerce Minister Gohar Ejaz, the meeting delved into various aspects of rice exports, with a particular focus on developing a precise roadmap to achieve the $10 billion target.

Chairman of the Punjab Rice Research Board and CEO of Guard Agricultural Research & Services Shehzad Ali Malik conveyed the minister’s desire to integrate the rice export goal into the federal government’s overall target of $100 billion in exports.

Malik, actively engaged in the entire rice value chain, emphasized that Pakistan is well-positioned to significantly increase rice exports. He cited the use of high-yielding hybrid rice varieties and improvements in the quality of processed grains as key factors driving this growth.

Anticipating a rise to $3.5 billion in the current financial year, Malik stressed the importance of stringent quality checks and global brand management for achieving this milestone.

He projected an increase to $5 billion within three years and a doubling of this value by 2029-30, reaching the $10 billion mark.

Addressing quality standards, Malik highlighted the need to address issues related to EU alerts on pesticides. He proposed the establishment of an analytical lab to ensure the scientific assessment of maximum residue levels (MRL) in rice, with funding potentially sourced from the Export Development Fund (EDF).

In terms of promoting Pakistani rice brands globally, Malik suggested a strategy involving listing fees and shelf rentals for Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) brands in food categories through the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP).

He emphasized the importance of FMCG brands catering to mainstream markets and proposed gondolas/displays in selected supermarket chains with EDF support.

Furthermore, Malik urged commercial counselors to focus on establishing contacts with importers/distributors of FMCG handling international brands, aiming to introduce Pakistani FMCG brands globally.

This approach, he argued, would contribute more significantly to foreign earnings compared to short-term labeling initiatives.

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