According to local sources, Pakistan rice exporters are challenging the rice procurement policy by the government, it would disturb exports of the country as well as weaken the private sector, which plays a fundamental role in improving rice exports and making foreign exchange to the country.
The Chairman of the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) said in a speech that the government’s snooping in the rice procurement action to assure high prices to growers can lead to ultimately dropping conventional rice export markets.
He noticed that once the government procures rice at elevated prices, it will not be prepared to sell at reduced prices and might end up with massive stocks. He added that the government might have to bargain later to clear he stocks.
The REAP Chairman recapped that the Pakistan Agricultural Storage & Services Corporation (PASSCO) procured around 200,000 tons of rice at more than market prices and might not sell those stocks even after 6 years. Eventually, the government had to sustain damages to the extent of Rs.24 billion
Increased government interference in the rice sector may result to loss of vast foreign exchange as well as the reliability of Pakistan exporters. Hence, government should permit private sector to play a major role in building significance to Pakistan’s rice sector.
The growers have been demanding subventions on seeds, fertilizers, land and electricity. Generally Government’s interference in such situations offers to buy paddy from farmers at increased market prices.
The REAP Chairman alerted the government not to procure rice from farmer, whereas by offering free seeds, free pesticides, free water, free fertiliser and free electricity as well as through setting up adequate infrastructure and technology can support the rice farmers and investors.