Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) has applauded the decision of Excellency President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari for conferring Sitara-e-Imtiaz on REAP’s former Chairman Shahzad Ali Malik. The Association’s Vice Chairman Samee Ullah Chaudhry said Shahzad Ali Malik’s services to Basmati Rice is recognised with successful research headed by Pakistan’s prominent agricultural scientist (late) Dr Abdul Majeed by introducing extra long grain super basmati rice which helped Pakistan take back its rightful share of the international basmati rice market.
He said that Shahzad Malik also introduced hybrid rice technology which effectively doubled the per acre yield of IRRI type rice grown in rural Sindh and Balochistan. In Sindh the average yield went up by a significant 33 per cent per acre, while at the same time the area under hybrid rice cultivation expanded by 25 per cent. Increased farmer earnings have improved living standards in rural Sindh and Balochistan reducing the incomes disparity between rural and urban areas.
Rice Hybridisation has also ensured increased production surpluses vastly improving the nation’s food security prospects and making rice, the second best foreign exchange earner after textile. Shahzad Ali Malik a firm believer in Public Private Partnership and basic research founded Guard Agricultural Research and Services (pvt) ltd., the first private sector company to establish its own rice research and development base.