FPCCI body urged to include rice sector issues in upcoming meeting


Karachi: The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) on Tuesday invited the attention of the Standing Committee (SC) on Rice of Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) to include very important issues of the rice sector in the agenda for the meeting to be held on 13th April 2016 at FPCCI.

President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver requested Rafique Suleman, Chairman FPCCI Standing Committee on Rice to include important points in the agenda namely decline in export of basmati rice, deteriorating supply chain, geographical indication of basmati rice, and trademark of basmati rice. He lamented that these important issues are not being discussed and are side tracked.

He said the export of basmati rice is negligible as compared to India who has captured global markets despite the fact that our super basmati rice is superior in taste, look and cooking. He urged the SC on rice to discuss the ways and means to regain lost markets.

Secondly, he pinpointed that the supply chain from the farms to the factories needs the immediate attention of the stakeholders as the grains supplied by the farmers to the millers and from the millers to the processors is getting more field mixtures, broken percentage and many times the paddy is not sufficiently dried as per acceptable standards.

Thirdly, Thaver emphasized the need for the Intellectual Property Organization (IPO) to resolve the issue of GI which has not been advocated properly. Fourthly the Trade Mark issue of basmati rice needs the immediate attention of all stakeholders to enable our equal claim on the basmati trademark alongwith India.

He urged the chairman SC Rafique Suleman to invite Director General Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) Dr Usman Narejo, Alamgir Chaudhry CEO of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) and Asif Hayat, an expert in Intellectual Property Rights and Trade Marks to the meeting to make it meaningful and to seek their support for the agenda and expert advise on the dominating issues.