A slump in the export of basmati rice is having a damaging effect on the economy of Pakistan. It has exacerbated rural poverty with often catastrophic consequences for small farmers. The causes of the slump are complex and both national and provincial governments are facing criticism for failure to act.
Pakistan’s exports of basmati rice have declined by 40% in the past four years, from 1.1mn tons in 2011 to 676,630 tons in 2015. As a consequence, the domestic market has been overwhelmed by an unmanageable glut.