ISLAMABAD - The Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock (Minfal) has set the target to produce about 5720.50 thousand tonne of rice to fulfil the domestic consumption of the commodity as well as to export. An official in the Food Ministry told APP here on Monday that last year, rice crop was cultivated over 2515.60 thousand hectare of land and 5561.20 thousand tons of the grain was achieved at the average of 2211 kgs yield per hectare. He informed that Pakistan produces about seven types of food grains including wheat, maize, rice, barley, cotton and varieties of pulses like mung, mash, grame and oilseed for domestic consumption. Total agriculture area under rice and wheat cultivation is about 2.8 million hectares that is 66 percent of the total agricultural land of the Punjab, province, the official added. Rice is one the major food crops produced in the country, which was is used as stipple food and also used in poultry feed, he said. He said that Pakistan earns huge amount of foreign exchange with export of rice adding that UAE, KSA, Russia and Middle Eastern states were the main international markets for rice. He informed that this year ministry has set the target to cultivate 2594 thousand hectare of land as compared to the last year's area of 2515 thousand hectares. This year ministry is striving to enhance per hectare crop production from 2205 kgs per hectare to 2211 kg per hectares. It may be recalled that the rice exports from Pakistan during the month of May witnessed an upward trend as the quantity increased by 32.96 percent when compared to the exports during the April 2008. Pakistan exported 627.107 metric tonnes of rice costing $ 299.9 million as compared to exports of 471.631 metric tonnes costing $ 228.8 millions during the month of April of the current financial year. The rice exports during the month under review witnessed increase of 131.33 percent when compared to the same month of the previous financial year, which were recorded at 271,084 metric tonnes costing $ 103.8 million. The rice exports include 209,064 metric tonnes of Basmati costing $ 145.3 million. The Basmati exports witnessed 45.88 percent increase when compared to the export quantity of 143,311 metric tonnes during the month of April. As compared to the same month of the financial year 2006-07, the basmati exports witnessed increase of 163.36 percent increase by growing up from 79,382 metric tonnes in May 2007 to 209,064 during the month under review. The export of other rice commodities increased from 328,302 metric tonnes in April 2008 to 418,040 in the month under review. When compared to the same month of the last financial year, the exports of other rice commodities increased by 194 percent.