LAHORE-Hybrid coarse rice varieties have achieved three times more yields as compared to traditional varieties in lower Sindh and south Punjab.

Use of hybrid seed, developed by scientists from Pakistan and China after extensive research, has helped increasing yield from 39-35 maunds per acre to well over 100 maunds per acre this year. Progressive farmers have even managed to get more than 135 maunds paddy per acre.

Joint research for inventing high-yield hybrid coarse rice varieties has enabled paddy growers to get more earning, thus pushing their living standards upward besides reducing poverty from the rural areas. “Our per acre average yield with traditional rice varieties was 30-35 maund. Now hybrid varieties have enabled us to get 100 maund plus yield. In some cases the progressive farmers achieved 136 maund per acre,” said different growers while talking to a delegation of the Agriculture Journalists Association (AJA) Lahore during visit to rice fields in Golarchi in district Badin, lower Sindh.

Success of the hybrid varieties can be gauged from the fact that it is now being sown over 1.7 million acres of land in Sindh and south Punjab. Guard Agricultural Research & Services (Pvt) Ltd, which is pioneer in bringing the hybrid rice to Pakistan in collaboration with the Yuan Longping Hi-Tech China, is now working on to introduce such varieties which are heat resistant, salinity resistant and capable to do away with the negative impacts of climate change in Sindh and other parts of Pakistan. Talking to journalists, Guard Agricultural Research & Services (Pvt) Senior Executive Momin Malik said that three heat resistant varieties such as LP-18, Guard-403 and Guard 53 will soon be introduced in Sindh. He said that these varieties are lodging free too. He said that a long period is required for research and development of new varieties and the government should develop some mechanism for approval of new varieties at a fast phase. It will help expediting the research and development in agricultural sector, he said.

Momin said that Guard is running four research stations in Pakistan out of which two are in Sindh and two in Punjab. These research stations are in Golarchi, Larkana, Pakpattan and Sundar area near Lahore. Yuan Longping Hi-Tech representative in Pakistan Mr Liu said that hybrid rice is playing a very important role in ensuring food security and eradicating hunger from the world. He said that founder of his company who is known as ‘Father of Hybrid Rice’ has a dream to take the per acre yield to 200 maund per acre. He said that their company has its research stations in Pakistan, India, Philippines, Vietnam and Bangladesh. He disclosed that Pakistan’s climate and land is so suitable for hybrid long-grain rice that their seed is giving top performance in this country and yield is even better than China. He said that his company in collaboration with Guard will continue research to introduce varieties having resistance against climate change. 

He urged the progressive growers to educate their fellows on how to get better yield and what are the good agricultural practices for this seed. Guard General Manager Agriculture Abdul Karim Marri said that their company in collaboration with Chinese counterpart is also exporting rice seed to Philippines which once was considered as the headquarter for coarse variety. A progressive farmer Ali Mardan Shah proudly said that Golarchi is not only producing higher yield but is leading the whole of Pakistan.