Hybrid rice to have 50 percent share of total cultivated area in next three years

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LAHORE: An industry official on Monday said high-yielding hybrid rice seed coverage area would increase from current 25-30 percent to over 50 percent within the next three years.

This will contribute to the output rising by 2 million tons, said Guard Rice Research and Services, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Shahzad Ali Malik, reported an English daily.

Mr. Malik was attending the oath-taking ceremony of Agriculture Journalists Association’s (AJA) office bearers on Monday.

Hybrid rice growth is being championed by national seed companies mainly in conjunction with Chinese firm Guard Agri.

Various international seed manufacturers like Monsanto, Bayer, Syngenta and Pioneer launched their hybrid rice seeds in Pakistan but failed to gain traction and outperform the national seed companies, said Mr. Malik.

He added the seed offerings from the above-mentioned companies didn’t offer much incentives despite increase in production, but seed cost remained very high to the ones being offered by national seed companies.

Malik stated the efforts of local scientists had played a pivotal role in providing the impetus to private sector research in seed segment and development was rising day by day.

Hybrid rice plantation constitutes 90 percent of the area cultivated with long-grain seed lies in Sindh, while 10 percent share is held by South Punjab.