To acknowledge the contribution of international buyers in promotion of Pakistani rice exports, the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) has decided to reward them with International Buyers Recognition Trophy 2018. Thirty top international buyers will be acknowledged at an event to be held on February 20 in Dubai, which coincide with the third day of Gulfood (the biggest international annual food exhibition). Federal Commerce Minister Pervaiz Malik will be the chief guest of the occasion.
It will be participated by 100 international buyers who will be joined by ambassadors, representatives of different departments of Gulf States, representatives of different government departments including Trade Development Authority (TDAP), federal ministry for food security, provincial agriculture department and members of the REAP, said Association's Chairman Samee Ullah Naeem while addressing a press conference here on Thursday.
REAP mentor Pir Nazim Hussain Shah and Secretary General Kashif ur Rehman were also present on this occasion. Samee urged the Pakistani government and related departments to support and patronize Association in this event. Trophies will be given to biggest importers on the basis of quantity and region, he said.
The Association is holding such an award after 2002, when its founder Shahzad Ali Malik arranged similar nature of awards to recon the Pakistani rice buyers. 'Now we are planning to make it a regular annual feature, which will eventually be turned into a 'Rice Conference' providing a platform not only to acknowledge the buyers but also to discuss the future trends and new technologies in rice sector,' Samee added.
He hoped that the award will provide a chance to the buyers to interact with Pakistani government departments so as to have a feel that they are in safe hands while interacting with the Pakistani rice sellers. He said such an award will also promote soft image of the country besides winning the loyalty and trust of the international buyers.
Samee said that we would be discussing the rice issues through a documentary besides telling the audience that Pakistan is the original house of Basmati, our agronomic practices is traditional and close to organic, ratio of using pesticides is low and Pakistani growers comply Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary practices thus product is healthy and safe for human consumption.
He claimed that closest competitor of Pakistan had betrayed from the original Basmati while the original Basmati Rice 370 was found in 1923 in district Hafizabad area of Pakistan. To various queries he said that the demand was increasing for Pakistani rice and they expect to export 3.8 million tons of rice this year fetching US $2.3 billion.
He said that total production has also been estimated at 7 million tons this year as compared to 6.8 million tons of the corresponding year. He said adjustment in the currency rates and other factors are behind increase in rice exports.