Former President of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) Dr Shahid Rasheed Butt on Thursday said a new global food crisis is in the making due to reduced rice and sugarcane output in the major producing countries. He said that Pakistan should immediately stop the smuggling of rice and sugar and not allow them to be exported at any price to save the local people from impact.
Shahid Rasheed butt said that strict measures should be taken for at least one year until these commodities’ prices stabilise in the world market. The business leader said in a statement issued here today that according to international organisations, rice production is reaching its lowest level in two decades due to the war in Ukraine and a reduction in production in various countries, including Pakistan and China.
According to a report, three and a half billion people will be affected by the reduction in rice production, with the majority in the Asia-Pacific, where ninety per cent of the world’s rice production is consumed.
The production of rice will decrease by almost nine million tonnes, which is the highest since 2003/04 when the production decreased by eighteen and a half million tons, he informed.
Rice production in Pakistan has decreased by 31 per cent due to floods. Therefore, the government should restrict rice exports like India has already done.
Shahid Rashid Butt said that production of sugar has declined in many countries, including Brazil, India and Argentina, India pushing its prices in the international market to the highest level in ten years.
The influential sugar mafia was quick to take benefit of the situation, and it has increased prices, which has no justification because the production of sugar in Pakistan is much more than the requirement, he said.