STAFF REPORT ISB: Acting Chairman Rice Exporters Association of Pakistans (REAP), Mohsin Aziz, has urged the government to facilitate the rice farmers so that they could be able to compete in the international market with their rice varieties.

In a statement issued here, he sought compensation for farmers in the shape of free seeds, free pesticides, free water, free fertilizer, free electricity and other facilities.

As farmers are not equipped with the latest machinery and due to the mishandling, every year we have to see crop loss, and we could not get the right quality of rice.

“We are agreeing with the government to support farmers, but this should be done through a proper mechanism,” he said.

He recalled that in year 2008 Passco had procured 200,000 m/tons rice with prices higher than the prevailing market and even after 6 years they could not dispose of these stocks and ultimately the government had to face up to Rs 24 billion loss.

He also quoted the example of Thailand, where the government procured the rice with high prices and that could not be materialized and up to 17 million tons of rice were damaged, as they do not have the proper storage and warehousing facility and finally they have to face $30 billion loss to the exchequer.

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