Introduction of REAP
ARTICLE (May 21 2003) : Rice Exporters' Association of Pakistan (REAP) was formed in 1988-89 by the leading rice exporters of the country mainly to resolve the common issues pertaining with the ministry of commerce, ministry of food, agriculture and live stock and ministry of finance.
However with the passage of time, the association was switched over to an institution.
It was the dynamic leadership of the association that geared up the efforts to resolve the issues pertaining not for the exporters only but for all the stakeholders - growers, millers and traders.
One of the great achievement of the REAP is the establishment of Pakistan Rice Standard with the Pakistan Standard Institution in 1992 for the first time in the history of the country.
The REAP hosted Arabian Gulf Co-operative Council Government buyers from Kuwait, Oman, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia in 1992 and for the first time.
It was resulted in the export of 36,000 tonnes from the private sector, first time in the history.
In 1996-97, the REAP leadership again came up on the scene and proved the existence of REAP necessary when it negotiated with the European Commission along side with the Pakistani ambassador in Belgium and obtaining an abatement in import duties of 250 ECU per tonne on Super and kernel Basmati Brown rice. Since then Pakistan has captured the share of more than 50 percent out of the total market of 120,000 tonnes.
Before the Pakistani entry in the market, India was the only source of Basmati rice in the European market.
Starting from scratch in 1988-89, REAP members managed to export two million tones of rice from Pakistan in 1997-98 when the Rice Export Corporation of Pakistan (RECP) was formally winded up its business.
Thus the private sector has completely taken over the role of the government sector under the umbrella of REAP and provide a support to the Pakistani farmers by the aggressive export strategy.
In 1998-99, the REAP took the new face and became a registered body with the Director Trade Organisations, ministry of commerce who is responsible of all trade bodies.
Following the registration with DTO, the membership of the association shoot up and touched the mark of 800 members and REAP emerged as the second largest association of the country.
Members of the managing committee of REAP are constantly working for improvement in Pakistan's quality of rice and introduction of new varieties both in Sindh and Punjab.
In this connection, well attended seminars were organised by REAP in April presided by Mohammedmian Soomro, governor of Sindh at that time, in which exporters, millers and growers participated in great numbers.
In a bid to introduce modern technology in the farming and milling sector, the REAP also organised a seminar in Larkana last year where the modern machines were also demonstrated.