Karachi: The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has invited the attention of the Pakistan Standard Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) to the non-recognition of PK 386 a rice variety in its Pakistan Standard Specification (PSS) manual and urged it to give it due recognition as despite its non-inclusion in the list of varieties it is grown in abundance and exported vastly to global destinations.
President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver pointed out that a type of PK 386 popularly called Lal 386 is a variety much appreciated and liked by rice merchants in Pakistan and also rice importers in gulf and middle east. It is non glutinous and gives very good cooking results.
He urged the PSQCA to update its manuals and include PK 386 and give it the recognition it deserves to enable the rice exporters to export the variety officially as PK 386 rather than export it as simply long grain rice. The Indian 386 rice is an approved variety and classified as basmati rice and the Indian exporters are exporting it as basmati rice whereas in Pakistan the rice exporters leave aside export as basmati rice cannot even export it as PK 386 on its own merit and have to conceal its variety under the guise of other labels.
UNISAME also urged Dr. Mohammad Arif, principal scientist at the National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetics Engineering (NIBGE) to examine the PK 386 variety on merit and inform the Ministry of Agriculture, the PSQCA, and the Ministry of Commerce about the DNA results to educate the concerned the relevant authorities on the subject.
Thaver advised the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (REAP) to take up the matter and get it approved on merit as a permitted variety for cultivation and inclusion in the PSS.
He said now that REAP’s mandatory membership has been done away with and the Quality Review Committee (QRC) made transparent, impartial and independent by virtue of its administrative and fiscal placement under
Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) it is very important for
REAP to play its important role as a forum for the small to medium sized exporters and also for the large to attract all to continue membership and benefit from its being a truly representative body to voice the concerns of all rice exporters.