RPL educates 400 rice growers to ensure sustainable rice production
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ISLAMABAD, Sep 27 (APP): The major rice exporter of the country, Rice Partners Limited (RPL) has organized training workshops for 400 rice growers to educate them on water saving techniques, Crop management for ensuring sustainable rice production and food security in central Punjab including the district Sheikhupura.

The Rice Partners Limited (RPL) in collaboration with Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation and Mars food organized capacity building workshops for 400 farmers in different four phases in different districts of Punjab especially Sheikhupura, said a statement issued here on Sunday.

In these workshops’ farmers were trained for gaining better yield for super basmati following the globally recognized, responsible and ecofriendly methodologies of Sustainable Rice Production.

The Senior Scientist, researchers and advisor on rice production, Dr. Riaz Mann explained that there is a huge cushion between potential and actual yield of basmati rice at farm level and there is dire need of narrowing this gap with best agronomic practices.

He explained that our farmers are much behind in tapping the potential of super basmati variety as well as in maintaining quality standards demanded by the international rice market especially the EU.

He also discussed in detail about the requirement of the international market for rice regarding water saving and quality standards, maximum residue limit in rice grain so that farmers could furnish themselves with improved rice farming system and equipped themselves with latest cost effective farming techniques to become at par with the world.

He explained farmers on crop disease management, eradication of weeds, best use of agrochemicals and water saving techniques.

During workshop, farmer’s issues at grass root level were discussed and their suitable remedies were communicated.

Addressing the farmers, a Senior Scientist and Rice Research Institute (RRI), Kala Shah Kaku Dr. Tahir Awan, said that laser leveling helped in improving irrigation efficiency and conserved water.

“Land laser leveling helps to operate agricultural machinery at higher speeds across leveled fields,” he added this is the time to support poor rice farmers to reduce their cost of production and increase yield of rice by adopting conservation agri-techniques.

Manager Sustainability RPL, Zafar Iqbal said that Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD) Technology practice in irrigated rice that saves water and reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while maintaining yields. RPL has launched a project on efficient utilization of water.

By reducing the number of irrigation events required, AWD can reduce water use by up to 30%, he said.

He said it can help farmers cope with water scarcity and increase reliability of downstream irrigation water supply.

He said that RPL has leveled about 10,000 acres of farmers land in district Punjab. Ultimately this activity helped to save up to 25%-30% water.

Talking to APP, Muhammad Ali Tariq Chief Operating Officer said that Rice Partners Pvt Ltd (RPL) is a social impact business that works with thousands of growers of basmati rice in Pakistan, to provide them with best practice guidelines, technical and financial support they need to increase their yields and livelihoods.

He said that RPL processes that paddy into high quality basmati rice, ready for export and consumption in global markets.

RPL is committed to improve the livelihood of farmers in Pakistan, he added.
He said that we have trained more than 28,000 farmers on water saving techniques, crop management, sustainable rice production, decent working conditions, health issues and human rights.

Tariq said the RPL has trained farmer families on Covid-19 safety measures and also provided them decent working conditions, food packets, shelter/canopy, Personal Protection Equipments (PPEs), first aid boxes, solar system, fans, Water cooler, Desert Cooler and stationary items for their kids.

He said that in this way farmers can grow which ultimately results in the growth of our country which mainly depends upon agricultural products.

Further he added that RPL has been working for the past many years on sustainable rice production, a globally recognized standard for maintaining responsible rice value chain.

Responsible use of water is encouraged for the farmers to utilize natural resources in the best possible way.

He further added farmer’s success is the success of the RPL, and they will continue this noble cause to uplift the life of common farmers.