Grain-forage rice to improve land utilisation

China’s high-quality, high-yield rice varieties widely promoted in Pakistan

May 13, 2022
Pakistan, once the world’s seventh-largest rice exporter, became the fourth-largest after the introduction of hybrid rice from China. PHOTO: china economic net


Since Pakistan started importing Chinese high-yield rice seeds, the growers that used to produce 40 to 50 mounds now produce 100 mounds, said Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Vice President Shamsul Islam Khan.

“Rice production in Pakistan has improved a lot, and we are exporting it,” he said.

In the first quarter of this fiscal year, Pakistan’s export of rice rose by 17.5% to $423 million.

“Pakistan is a major rice-growing and exporting country. China’s high-quality and high-yield rice varieties have been widely promoted in Pakistan. Pakistan has sufficient sunlight and fewer plant diseases and pests, making it easier to obtain high yields,” said President of International Exchange and Cooperation Branch of China Seed Association Zhang Qin, who is also the CEO of Win-all Hi-Tech Seed Co Ltd.

Win-all Hi-Tech has been doing seed cooperation with Pakistan for almost 25 years. “We entered Pakistani market in 2007. The growth period of the first variety we introduced in Pakistan was 20 days shorter than that of the local variety, and the output was more than 100% higher. It caused a great flutter among rice farmers in Sindh at that time,” Zhang recalled.

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Zhang said that the company is now cooperating with scientists from Chinese Academy of Sciences to cultivate a new rice variety that can be used for both grain and forage.

They use the genes of brittle culm and efficient nitrogen utilisation to transform current rice varieties, so that the grain of plants can be eaten by humans, and the straw can feed cattle and sheep.

“Now we are testing this dual-purpose rice variety extensively in China. The straw is very tasty for livestock. Lambs, in particular, gain weight quickly while eating it. Such breed can greatly improve land utilisation.”



Published in The Express Tribune, May 13th, 2022.

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