AFP urges government to fix minimum procurement price of rice
September 06, 2012: Agriculture Forum Pakistan (AFP) Chairman Muhammad Ibrahim Mughal has urged the government to immediately fix the minimum procurement price of basmati paddy at Rs 2000 per maund and non-basmati at Rs 1200 per maund to get maximum production which could meet the domestic requirement as well as help increasing the rice export.
Talking to media persons here on Wednesday, Muhammad Ibrahim Mughal said that previously basmati paddy was available at Rs 1400-1500 per maund and non-basmati from Rs 800-900 per maund. However, he said that input cost and other expenses had increased manifold and growers would not get anything out of sowing rice if these prices are maintained.
He said that the support price for rice should be even higher than the prices being demanded by Agri Forum as per the estimates of the Punjab government carried out during March 2012. However, paddy production might fall 20 to 25 percent through out the country if the government failed to increase the support price to a suitable level.
Chairman Agri Forum said that if basmati paddy is sold at Rs 2000 per maund then the rice should be made available to the consumer at Rs 70 per kilogram. While if non-basmati paddy is sold at Rs 1200 per maund then rice of this variety should be available for the consumer at Rs 45 per kilograms, he added.
He said if Pakistan wanted to compete India in the international rice market then it has to give growers their due rights. He said that government must help growers meeting the ever increasing prices of paddy sowing. He said that we could export 3 to 4 billion dollars rice every year by enhancing the support price.