Karachi, June 21, 2016 (PPI-OT):The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) held a meeting of SME rice growers, processors and exporters to express urgency to invite the attention of the policy makers to the failure of basmati rice sector. The basmati stakeholders wish to know why Pakistani basmati rice exports declined and why Pakistan lost markets to India.
President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver said that, “We fail to understand when our super basmati rice is really superior than Indian basmati rice why India won the race and our buyers shifted to Indian shippers. He said “Our rice exporters are good in marketing, our processors do an excellent job and our packing is also attractive. Then why we failed.”
Thaver said the union has to submit a detailed report to pinpoint the responsibility for the damage caused to the basmati rice and request experts to answer the questions to enable the revival of the basmati which is our heritage.
The 1121 is no way near to our basmati and we need to revive our basmati and export and penetrate in global markets said Haji Muhammad Saeed, chairman of Small Farmers Association (SMEFA). Other participants said it is a matter of competitiveness. We are not competitive because of several reasons. Our yield is lesser than our competitors .There is no research on seeds. The fertilizers the pesticides and other farm inputs are costly and also sub standard.
There is corruption, there is no support price and even when it is there the officers don’t disburse full amount. The exporters borrow huge amounts at subsidized rates and invest in property but the grower borrows on heavy interest from middlemen. The SMEs have been eliminated by manipulations and trickery. The Geographical Indication (GI) of basmati has been mishandled and so is the trade mark issue.
The association is incompetent to handle it and shifted the burden on TDAP and it is a long story of how due to negligence and politicization of activities the focus on serious issues was missing. A white paper is needed to expose and punish the mischief makers who have ruined our basmati exports. The meeting resolved to take up the issue of 0 rating of rice sector to enable it to stand on its feet and again become competitive in the face of challenges.
For more information, contact:
Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME)
75/1 3rd Commercial Street,
Phase IV, D.H.A., Karachi, Pakistan
Cell: +92-300-8245307, +92-321-8245307