Rice crop is of great economic importance for Pakistan, as it is second staple food after wheat, and is second to cotton as foreign exchange earner. It occupies about 11% of total cultivated area in Pakistan. Rice is planted on about 7.03 million acres and produces about 6.90 million metric tons of milled rice. Pakistan is the 4th largest rice exporting country in the world after India, Vietnam and Thailand. About 0.573 million metric tons Basmati rice is exported to the Middle East countries, Europe and America, whereas, 3.759 million metric tons coarse rice is exported to different countries of Asia and Africa. During 2015- 16, Pakistan earned US$ 1.86 billion foreign exchange from the export of rice.
The Punjab is the biggest rice producer province of the country. In the province, during 2015-16, the total area under rice crop was 4.399 million acres and production was 3.502 million tonnes. Generally, the Punjab contributes 51% to the national production while province of Sindh, Baluchistan and KPK contribute 39%, 9% and 1%, respectively. It is not difficult to achieve these targets provided we increase per acre yield and improve the quality of exportable rice by adopting production technology.