Lahore (Muhammad Yasir) Pakistan Basmati Heritage Association (PBHA) in collaboration of the Punjab Agriculture Department (PAD) recently arranged an awareness seminar ‘Khushal Kissan’ for promotion and preservation of basmati rice heritage of the country.
Punjab Minister for Agriculture Malik Nauman Ahmad Langrial speaking on this occasion appreciated the efforts of PBHA and assured that the government will continue its efforts for the improvement of rice sector and welfare of the farmers.
Throwing light on various steps being taken by the government for the development of the agricultural sector, the Minister said that the rice is not only needed for our food requirement but also help the country to fetch precious foreign exchange through exports. He said that various schemes have been introduced for bringing down the cost of production and increasing profit of the growers.
Arif Nadeem CEO Pakistan Agriculture Coalition addressing the farmers spoke about farm mechanization through service provider model in Sindh and roadmap for taking rice exports from $2B -$5B. Naveed Anwar Bhindar Chairman Pakistan Agriculture Marketing & Regulatory Authority (PAMRA) shared the benefits and future impact of PAMRA.
Hundreds of rice farmers and key members of PBHA participated in the seminar. While moderating the Seminar Imran Sheikh National Coordinator PBHA deliberated the challenges of rice sector especially basmati rice in Punjab. Shahid Hussain Tarer Convener PBHA shared the mission & objectives of Pakistan Basmati Heritage Association (PBHA) and agreed action plan for promotion and preservation of Basmati rice in production and export. He advised the farmers to adopt global rice standard of Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) of UNE & IRRI for promoting resource efficiency and sustainability by ensuring food safety.
Dr. Abid Mahmood DG Research advised the farmers to use certified seed because it will serve as foundation for increasing yield and quality of Basmati rice. Dr. Anjum Ali Buttar DG Agri. Extension shared Prime Minister’s agriculture emergency program and appreciated the initiative of PBHA for providing healthy and certified seed on subsidized rate to the farmers.
Rana Nazir Ahmed Ex MNA & Progressive farmer shared his experience on mechanical rice transplanting and direct seeding of rice. He advised the farmers to adopt farm mechanization for improving their yield and reducing cost of production. Ms. Shehla Raza MPA Gujranwala also share her experience and thoughts for betterment of rice sector.
Prof. Dr. Ahfaq Ahmad Chattha University of Agri. Faisalabad highlighted the impact of climate change on basmati rice and advised the farmers to adjust date of sowing for adapting climate change scenario. Dr. Afzal Country Director CropLife advised the farmers for responsible use of pesticides and its importance for boosting rice export of Pakistan. He further educated the farmers on pesticide stewardship. Ihsan Cheema Lead Agronomy Corteva recommended the farmers to adopt maize-rice cropping pattern for increasing yield and income. He further explained the advantages of sowing maize in place of wheat. Dr. Sabir Director Rice Research Institute KSK gave a snapshot about research projects and their impact on rice sector. Mushtaq Gill, Ch. Ashraf Ex DGs On Farm Water Management(OFWM), Rao Muhammad Tariq Senior Manager & Head Advisory Services FFC.