LAHORE - The Auriga Group of Companies on Thursday launched a new variety of hybrid rice seed (Almas) at a mega ceremony held at a local hotel. The launching ceremony was presided over by Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana Iqbal while a large number of rice growers and agri experts attended the event. Introducing the new variety of rice Auriga Group of Companies Chairman Jamshaid Iqbal Cheema, who is also the Chairman of the Pakistan Agricultural Scientists Association, said the new hybrid rice seed will raise the crop yield up to 3800kg per acre from the existing production of 1600kg per acre. He said that by cultivating super basmati the growers earn Rs 42,000 per acre while they have to spend at least Rs 44,000 per acre, hence they suffer Rs 2,000 instead of earning any thing. He urged the farmers to sow hybrid rice seeds so that they could earn up to Rs 85,000 per acre by spending just Rs 44,000 per acre, translating into a profit of around Rs 40,000. He said that Almas is a hybrid seed which ripens earlier and produce more yield and farmers can cultivate 10 percent more than the other hybrid variety. He claimed that basmati rice is produced only 1.5 percent while rest of the 98.50 percent rice production belonged to hybrid variety all over the world. He said that Auriga Group of Companies is one of the fastest growing companies among all multinationals and national companies engaged in agrochemicals and seeds business. The Group has three subsidiaries, including Auriga Chemical Enterprises, Sayban International and Auriga Seeds Corporation. Auriga Chemical Enterprises has a vast and trusted dealers network covering whole country, Sayban International is an infant company aiming for country wide network of franchisees with distinct look of the put let in the market, he said. He added that the network is expanding very fast with a concept of one stop solution for all crops inputs. He said that Auriga Seeds Corporation is focused on research and development, of seed varieties using indigenous pool of genetics coupled with elite sources of genetics around the world. The company has focus of developing and procuring high yielding hybrids of field and vegetable crops. The company is actively engaged in sourcing of transgenic technologies from local research institute and developed nations. The group has developed itself as a trust worthy source of quality agrochemicals, high yielding seeds and proven research based foliar fertilizers, he added.