LAHORE            -        Hybrid coarse varieties of rice are likely to give 40-50 per cent more yield in Sindh and South Punjab this year. Favourable weather conditions, good and timely rains, improved seed quality and proper technical support from seed companies resulted in more yield that would enhance income of growers. “Hybrid rice is getting good yield. At least 40-50% more yield is expected this year which means increase in growers income in the same proportions”, said stakeholders of rice sector. “Coarse varieties like Superfine is already in the market for the last couple of weeks. New Superfine is healthy. Same is for hybrid paddy, reaching to peak arrival gradually. Some farmers have 90/100 maunds paddy output which means a healthy return”, said Guard Agricultural Research & Services Limited (GUARD) Chief Executive Officer Shahzad Ali Malik, adding, that an average yield with traditional varieties in South Punjab was 40-50 maunds per acre which with hybrid seed has improved to 100-110 maunds per acre. “Thus, double the yield means double the income and a socio-economic change in the life of grower,” he said. He said that only 6-7 per cent area is being cultivated with Hybrid rice in South Punjab and next year it is expected to reach 15-16 per cent. He said that 30-35 per cent area in Sindh is already under hybrid seed varieties and it is expected that by next season the figure may reach 50 per cent in Sindh alone. He said that some 40 companies were dealing in hybrid seed but only a few including their have own research and development facilities. He proudly disclosed that his company has lion’s share in the hybrid seed business and about 50 to 60 per cent seed is being marketed by his company. Referring to last year’s failure of rice crop in Sindh, Malik said that temperature increase due to climate change had failed the rice crop last year. This year too rice crop in Larkana district had seen some difficulties due to high temperature. “For tackling this problem, we have introduced heat tolerant and drought tolerant varieties and working continuously on to improve their performance further,” he added. Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) Chairman Shahjahan Malik hoped that Pakistan can add one million tons of more rice in the next five years thus making more surplus available for export. However, he said that everyone should not be allowed to import hybrid rice and sell.

“Only the companies with proper infrastructure and research facilities should be allowed to import hybrid seed”, he said.