Karachi, March 23, 2016 (PPI-OT): The small to medium sized rice growers, millers, processors and exporters being badly affected by the neglect and ignorance of their issues by their respective associations have formed a Rice Syndicate under the Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) to advocate their cause with the ministries of agriculture, commerce, industry and science and technology directly.
President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver said the SMEs are frustrated with the attitude of the trade bodies who are simply not interested in advocating the cause of the growers, millers, processors and exporters of rice and have resolved to tackle their problems collectively on self help basis.
He said the Rice Syndicate has been formed by the stakeholders to give serious consideration to the issues of the farmers who are unable to fetch even their cost of production due to costly farm inputs. The millers are idle due to lack of demand from processors and exporters. The exporters are unable to compete in global markets due to competition from India.
The Rice Syndicate would bring all of them under one platform as the issues are inter connected right from the primary sector to the tertiary and services sector. The supply chain, the logistics, the poor quality of insecticides, pesticides, fertilizers, the shipping companies inefficiencies, the costly packing materials and other issues of rice imports from India by the rice mafia and their demands to allow imports of rice from the Wag-ah border are serious issues. More than 1000 rice units have been closed down and the worst affected are the SMEs.
The failure of the concerned group to diligently handle the Geographical Indications case and the Basmati trade mark ownership are the factors which have led to the formation of the Rice Syndicate which feels insecure in the hands of the vested group.
Thaver said the Rice Syndicate has unanimously selected Haji Muhammad Saeed the chairman of the SME Farmers Association (SMEFA) as its convener and the Rice Syndicate will meet regularly the stakeholders and comprehend their issues and take up their cause with the concerned provincial and federal ministries.
Haji Muhammad Saeed chairman SMEFA called upon the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) and the Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR), the National Productivity Organization (NPO) and the Engineering Development Board (EDB) to lend support and help to the rice industry and save it from collapse.
He also requested the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) not to ignore the SMEs in rice trade and make sincere efforts and offer marketing support to the stressed sector. He called upon the TDAP to expedite the setting up of the SME Export House shelved by the authority for no valid reason. He emphasized the fact that TDAP is not only for the big boys but it is for all and it should not ignore the majority sector which is the SMEs.
For more information, contact:
Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME)
75/1 3rd Commercial Street,
Phase IV, D.H.A., Karachi, Pakistan
Cell: +92-300-8245307, +92-321-8245307