Top 5 rice seed companies in Pakistan

Rice seed companies in Pakistan play very important role for timely availability of quality seeds for the farmers. Many national and multinational companies work in Pakistan. Top 05 companies list selected on following criteria.

  1.  Product Range and quality
  2. Customer service
  3. Sale and Marketing Range/Distribution
  4. Customer Services

1. Four Brothers Seeds – Four Brothers Group Pakistan

The company major field crops like Cotton, Rice, Corn, Wheat, Pearl millets and Oilseeds (Sunflower and Canola) as well as small-acre crops like Vegetables, Ornamentals & Fodders. … The company operates its seed research at 20 experimental research centers covering all climatic zones of Pakistan.

2. Agri | ICI Pakistan Limited

Since its inception in 1990, the Agri Division has diversified and expanded, allowing us to provide holistic solutions to our customers. Today, we market both imported as well as locally produced seeds that offer superior yield to farmers.

The Agri Division strives to empower farmers to create and capture maximum value while conserving water, land and energy. We offer innovative solutions, such as bio fertilisers (environment friendly bacteria for increased soil nutrition) and baled corn silage, to fulfil the need of fresh fodder in the lean season. We support farmers by providing them with leading farm inputs to maximise their yields and minimise their costs.

In order to achieve persistent innovation and growth, we have strategically re-aligned the Agri Division into three segments: Seeds (Field Crops), Vegetable Seeds and Agro Chemicals. Currently, ICI Pakistan Limited is the only organisation with dedicated sales, marketing and technical teams for each segment.

The Agri Division takes pride in being responsive to the ever changing needs of our customers. The ability to respond effectively, a dedicated team for Agro Chemicals, Seeds (Field Crops) and Vegetable Seeds, and a strong alliance with our business partners, has positioned ICI Pakistan Limited to continue to be a leader in the years to come.

Agro Chemicals

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Seeds (Field Crops)

The Seeds segment offers its customers an outstanding range of hybrid and OPV seeds for field crops. It includes a portfolio of high value seeds of sunflower, corn, fodder, canola, mustard, rice and wheat
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Vegetable Seeds

Launched in 2008, the Vegetable Seeds segment has grown at CAGR of 35%. The Agri Division takes pride in the exponential growth achieved by the segment. The segment has now established a strong footing in the hot pepper and tomato markets. The segment offers a wide range of products including cucumber, gourds, okra, tomato, hot pepper, onion, eggplant, carrot, cauliflower, peas, radish, watermelon and turnip.
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3. Pioneer: Products

Company Overview
Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, is the world’s leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics, providing high-quality seeds to farmers in more than 90 countries. Pioneer provides agronomic support and services to help increase farmer productivity and profitability and strives to develop sustainable agricultural systems for people everywhere. Science with Service Delivering SuccessTM.

Pioneer Pakistan Seed Limited is a subsidiary of Pioneer Hi-Bred International, USA, began operations in Pakistan in 1989 and is a joint venture with Pakistan based partners. Proprietary Pioneer® brand corn, sunflower, pearl millet, hybrid rice and other hybrid seeds are sold in Pakistan through sales agronomists and dealers who link Pioneer with Pakistani farmers. In addition, Pioneer provides a wide variety of agronomic services.

Pioneer is a leading hybrid seed company in Pakistan, strengthening its position in other crops too. Pioneer is well reputed in the market place for its research based products being offered for different segments.

Pioneer Long Look
We are an international business, with a unique combination of cultures, languages and experiences. Our business environment and customers have changed dramatically since Pioneer was first established. But our philosophy-our attitude toward research, production and marketing, and the worldwide network of Pioneer people-will always remain true to the four simple statements of business policy which have guided us since our early years.

We strive to produce the best products on the market.
We deal honestly and fairly with our customers, seed growers, employees,sales force, business associates, and shareholders.
We advertise and sell our products vigorously, but without misrepresentation.
We give helpful management suggestions to our customers to assist them in making the greatest possible profit from our products.
Core Values
Safety and Health: We adhere to the highest standards to ensure the safety and health of our employees, our customers, and the people of the communities in which we operate.
Environmental Stewardship: We protect the environment and strengthen our businesses by making environmental issues an integral part of all business activities. We continuously strive to align our actions with public expectations.
Highest Ethical Behavior: We conduct our business affairs to the highest ethical standards and in compliance with all applicable laws. We work diligently to be a respected corporate citizen worldwide.
Respect for People: We foster an environment in which every employee is treated with respect and dignity, and is recognized for his or her contributions to our business.

Pioneer Pakistan

4. Rice Division – Guard Rice

Guard Agri, having achieved full technology transfer in hybrid rice seed is by far the market leader in the seed market with 74.2% share, reflecting the strength of the company as a research oriented organization.

We are the only company in Pakistan doing basic research and development in new Basmati and non Basmati Rice varieties. Guard Agri has a nationwide seed distribution network backed by full technical support services to the farmer. Pakistan top leading agriculture information website

5. Jullundur Group – Seeds, Pesticides, Fertilizer, Agro chemicals

Company Setup & History Jullundur Private Limited initially started its business in 1952, initially from Arifwala and flourished well over several decades all over the country, in many fields like pharmaceutical, Seeds, farming and agrochemicals etc. Over last few decades company past through many transitional /developmental phases from a family business to a strong local organization. During this transitional phase company made a vital strategical decision of making its another cooperate office/setup in southern part of the country (Rahim yar Khan) with heavy investment. As a result of this, Asia’s largest Seed delinting American automatic (HCL) plant was erected in Rahim Yar Khan. Besides this plant huge storing facility, Pesticides formulation plants, Repacking Plants, Fertilizers Manufacturing units etc. were also installed at Rahim Yar Khan. Now JPL is working in all over the country and growing its business with increasing sales more than @ 20% annually. Company has also strengthened it’s allied departments to respond customer needs & facilitate our customer better.

While spreading its business and passing through transitional phases, company has established various business like.

♦ Jullunur Private Limited

♦ Jullundur Seed Corporation

♦ Rice Mills

♦ Seed & Chemical Testing Lab

♦ Cotton Ginning Factories

♦ Seed Processing Plants

♦ Pesticide Formation & Refilling Plants

♦ Fertilizer Formulation Plants

♦ Jullundur Import /Export

♦ Jullundur Dairy Farming

♦ Jullundur Pharmaceutical

♦ Jullundur Farms Pakistan leading top agriculture information website

Effect of endophytic fungi on growth, production and quality of watermelon under greenhouse conditions

Effect of endophytic fungi on growth, production and quality of watermelon under greenhouse conditions
Muhammad Awais Khan1, Rashad Mukhtar Balal1 , Muhammad Adnan Shahid1,3 , Muhammad Zubair1
, Mujahid Ali2 and Muhammad Wajid Khan1

1. Department of Horticulture, University College of Agriculture, University of Sargodha
2. Institute of Horticultural Sciences, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad
3. Horticultural Sciences Department, Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences, University
of Florida, Florida, USA.
(Date of Submission: (27/10/2017)
Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) is an annual crop belong to Cucurbitaceae family. Watermelon is cultivated on an area of 7.12% the world (FAO, 2017). The cultivated species are diploid with 22 number of chromosomes. This crop is native to tropical Africa (Carroll, 1988). It can also grow in dry areas and sandy of southern Africa especially in Kalhari desert. It has been cultivated on commercial level in more than 96 countries of the world including Pakistan. It is planted mid-December to March, and is harvested in May to July 15. The world production of watermelon is about 93.7 thousand million tons. China is the largest producer of the watermelon in the world with annual production of 66434289 metric tons (FAO, 2017). It is mostly used as a fresh fruit, across the world. It is rich of nutrients especially good source of carbohydrates, protein, dietary, fiber, sodium, vitamin A, niacin, pantothenic acid, thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, potassium and carotenoids etc. High water contents are present that are approximately up to 92 %. Texture of flesh is good and is very favorite for the people living in deserts as a thirst quenching fruit. It contains very high level of naturally produced lycopene that is considered as an antioxidant that helps the human body to fight against cancer and to prevent diseases. Lycopene is present only in selected vegetables and fruits and is considered very effective in trapping the cancer promoting against that are called as free oxygen radicals. High quantity of toxic matter is present in human body that is reduced by the action of antioxidants
present in watermelon, which results in the reduction of asthma attack. It is rich in vitamin C and beta carotene content and shows wonderful effects in term of quenching diseases. Its juice is an effective too in aiding the water elimination from the body, fluid retention, itchiness and skin blemish (NRC, 2012).
It requires warm climate and relatively long growing season. The potential of watermelon as a cash crop is much for the farmers especially those residing near the urban areas. Its vine has sprawling or climbing nature. Its leaves are large green with 3-5 deep lobes, flowers are with short pedicles. Fruit is medium to large having smooth skin and flesh color can be dark red, red and yellow. Seeds are oval to oblong with a white, gray, red or brown color (Dane and Lang, 2004). Watermelon is a climacteric fruit and is ripening begins with internal production of ethylene, which induces softening of cell walls, production of secondary compounds and changes in sugar content, texture, flavor and aroma of fruit. Orange and white to cream flesh type of watermelons are cultivated in some parts of the world and their flesh is used as vegetable for cooking purposes. Their seeds are also used for the preparation of snacks and sauces after grinding. Seeds are also consumed as source of fat and protein in the diet (Dane et al., 2007).

Watermelon is monoecious as male and female flowers are produced on the same plant. Most of its species produces imperfect type of male and female flowers. At the beginning of flowering, male flower are produce at each node and female flower are produced approximately at every seventh node. Watermelon flowers are viable for only one day, so a sufficient population of pollinating insect are required daily during the flowering season. However under sufficient availability of pollinating agent watermelon flowers abort at an average 2-3 fruit should set per plant. Actual number of fruit set differs from variety to variety, environmental condition, culture practices, number of pollinating insects and number of irrigations (Arnold et al., 2003). The most common definition of endophytic fungi is that of Petrini (1991), “All organisms inhibiting plant organs that at some time in their life, can colonize internal plant tissues without causing apparent harm to the host”. Endophytic fungi are group of fungi that causes infections like asymptomatic infections on aerial tissues of different group of plants. The majority of fungal endophytes are ascomycetes and their anamorphs. Basidiomycetes and zygomycetes rarely are isolated as endophytes (Arnold et al., 2003; Petrini, 1991). Group of these fungi do not affect the plants communities too much. They are not harmful to plants. They provide resistance to plant against insects (Azevedo et al., 2000), fungal pathogens (Arnold et al., 2003). Endophytic fungi increase the plant ability to stand and continue its life cycle in harsh environments (Redman et al., 2002).

The colonization of endophytes and propagation and secondary metabolites which are present inside the plants may be important for above effects. These opinions’ shows that endophytic fungi may be used as biological agents for the control of insects and many diseases.
Moreover, the growers need high yielding and early maturing types of watermelon, which have maximum disease resistance and shelf life. Therefore, evaluation of newly released varieties and advance experimental breeding lines is extremely valuable for growers in the commercial watermelon industry. Furthermore, it is helpful for identifying potential of new cultivars and experimental breeding lines that may be adaptable to growing condition (McCann et al., 2007).
In watermelon, sensory evaluation criteria should be complemented with other parameters for the proper characterization of the product. This involves the determination of soluble solid contents, quantitative and qualitative determination of sugars and measurement of fruit firmness and internal color. The hybrid types of watermelon are mostly diploid and triploid. “Sugar baby” was reported to be the most successful diploid and open-pollinated cultivar. The F1 hybrid is developed from two inbred lines that have been self-pollinated for many generation and then crossed with the consistent sale of the seed to the grower (Messiaen, 2013).
Endophytic fungi live within a plant’s tissue without causing any disease symptoms or apparent injury to the host (Kogel et al., 2006). Older plant parts may harbour more endophytes than younger ones (Arnold et al., 2003). Almost all plant species (400,000) harbour one or more endophytic organisms (Tan and Zou, 2001) but only a small proportion, about 5 % of the existing fungal species are known (Hawksworth, 2001). Shiomi et al. (2006) reported that endophytic fungi are some of the most unexplored and diverse group of organisms that engage in symbiotic associations with higher life forms and may produce beneficial substances for the host crop. Therefore it will be of great necessity if more economically valuable endophytic fungi are identified. Endophytic microorganisms are associated with living tissues, and may in some way contribute to the wellbeing of the plant (Haggag, 2010). Endophytes may facilitate host plants to tolerate and withstand environmental stress such as drought (Malinowski and Belesky, 2000), as well as protect their hosts against pathogens and pests (Arnold et al., 2003 and Akello et al., 2007).

Honey bees can be trained to detect cancer “in ten minutes

Portuguese designer Susana Soares has developed a device for detecting cancer and other serious diseases using trained bees


The bees are placed in a glass chamber into which the patient exhales; the bees fly into a smaller secondary chamber if they detect cancer.

“Trained bees only rush into the smaller chamber if they can detect the odour on the patient’s breath that they have been trained to target,” explained Soares, who presented her Bee’s project at Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven last month.


Scientists have found that honey bees – Apis mellifera – have an extraordinary sense of smell that is more acute than that of a sniffer dog and can detect airborne molecules in the parts-per-trillion range.

Bees can be trained to detect specific chemical odours, including the biomarkers associated with diseases such as tuberculosis, lung, skin and pancreatic cancer.

Bees have also been trained to detect explosives and a company called Insectinel is training “sniffer bees” to work in counter-terrorist operations.


“The bees can be trained within 10 minutes,” explains Soares. “Training simply consists of exposing the bees to a specific odour and then feeding them with a solution of water and sugar, therefore they associate that odour with a food reward.”

Once trained, the bees will remember the odour for their entire lives, provided they are always rewarded with sugar. Bees live for six weeks on average.

“There’s plenty of interest in the project especially from charities and further applications as a cost effective early detection of illness, specifically in developing countries,” Soares said.


Here is a project description by Susana Soares:

Bee’s / Project

Bee’s explores how we might co-habit with natural biological systems and use their potential to increase our perceptive abilities.

The objects facilitate bees’ odour detection abilities in human breath. Bees can be trained within 10 minutes using Pavlov’s reflex to target a wide range of natural and man-made chemicals and odours, including the biomarkers associated with certain diseases.

The aim of the project is to develop upon current technological research by using design to translate the outcome into systems and objects that people can understand and use, engendering significant adjustments in their lives and mind set.

How it works

The glass objects have two enclosures: a smaller chamber that serves as the diagnosis space and a bigger chamber where previously trained bees are kept for the short period of time necessary for them to detect general health. People exhale into the smaller chamber and the bees rush into it if they detect on the breath the odour that they where trained to target.

What can bees detect?

Scientific research demonstrated that bees can diagnose accurately at an early stage a vast variety of diseases, such as: tuberculosis, lung and skin cancer, and diabetes.

Precise object

The outer curved tube helps bees avoid from flying accidentally into the interior diagnosis chamber, making for a more precise result. The tubes connected to the small chamber create condensation, so that exhalation is visible.

Detecting chemicals in the axilla

Apocrine glands are known to contain pheromones that retain information about a person’s health that bees antennae can identify.

The bee clinic

These diagnostic tools would be part of system that uses bees as a biosensor.

The systems implies:
– A bee centre: a structure that facilitates the technologic potential of bees. Within the centre is a beefarm, a training centre, a research lab and a healthcae centre.

– Training centre: courses can be taken on beetraining where bees are collected and trained by beetrainers. These are specialists that learn beetraining techniques to be used in a large scope of applications, including diagnosing diseases.

– BEE clinic: bees are used at the clinic for screening tests. These insects are very accurate in early medical diagnosis through detection on a person’s breath. Bees are a sustainable and valuable resource. After performing the diagnose in the clinic they are released, returning to their beehive.

Bee training

Bees can be easily trained using Pavlov’s reflex to target a wide range of natural and man-made chemicals odours including the biomarkers associated with certain diseases. The training consists in baffling the bees with a specific odour and feeding them with a solution of water and sugar, therefore they associate that odour with a food reward.


Report on the “Hot water treatment facility” at Durrani Associates


(4th Year plant protection, Department of Agriculture & Agribusiness Management, University of Karachi)

Abstract: Pakistani mangoes have high export potential, particularly in neighboring markets of Iran and China and Golf countries. However, market access is conditional with hot water (HW) Phytosanitary treatment protocol for disinfestations of fruit fly as agreed with both countries (Iran: HW dip at 45°C for 75 min; China: HW dip at 48°C for 60 min). Objectives of present survey to Durrani Associate to evaluate Hot water treatment facility and found that the facility as per required by the USDA (Standards) the mango must treat by 48C for 60 minutes the Hot water treatment plant at Durrani Associate is 70m in length, 2m in width and 1.5m in height. Its effective to kill the eggs and larvae of fruit fly (Bactrocera dorsalis Bactrocera zonata Thrips palmi) and other bacteria and the organisms which cause the post harvest losses (Aspidiotus destructor Coccus viridis Dysmicoccus neobrevipes Parasaissetia nigra Rastrococcus iceryoides Sternochetus mangiferae) which is the requirement of the importing country and Pakistan will also willing to unlock some new destination including Australia to achieve this goal SPS standard must strictly regulate all around the country.

Key words: Mango, Quarantine, Hot water treatment, Phytosanitary

(1) Introduction:

Report on the “Hot water treatment facility” at Durrani AssociatesMango (Mangifera indica L Family Anacardiaceae) commonly known as “King of fruits”. Mango is considered as fruit of excellence and thus has prominent position among commercial fruit grown in Pakistan. Mango plays an important role in the diet of human being by providing about 64-86 calories energy. Pakistan produces over 150 varieties of mango among them are Chaunsa and Sindhri that have great potential for finding buyers in the US and EU markets. Pakistan is the third largest producer of mangoes in the world and produces world’s finest quality of mangoes. In spite of these destinations Pakistani mangoes have high potential to get access in the other markets of Australia, USA and other countries how ever market access is conditional with the hot water treatment (HWT) and Phytosanitary protocols must followed for disinfestations of fruit fly (HW 48 C for 60 minutes). In Pakistan various HWT plants are working in public sector or by the facility center of Govt. Pakistan to unlock the new destinations world widely providing the Phytosanitary requirements. For this purpose department of plant protection conduct inspection surveys to the facilities of private and public sector in different occasion during the process of mangoes for export to issue the Phytosanitary certificate if the facility and processing unit meet to the Phytosanitary requirements of importing country.

A field survey conducted by the department of plant protection to evaluate the Phytosanitary measure, the processing unit and the Hot water treatment facility execute by the Durrani Associates, either the facility meet with the SPS status or not. The survey carried out at the facility site of the Durrani Associates where the (HWT) facility and the processing methods including grading, packaging, ethylene treatment, storage structures was observed and also demonstrated by the facilitator and A.Q Durrani him self.

(2) Methodology:

The survey was carried out by the demonstration and practical observation of the HWT of mangoes and its packaging and cold storage facilities.

According to the demonstrator, one of the greatest achievements of Durrani Associates is that they have found a breakthrough in the hot water and wax treatment of mango that enhances the shelf life of the product by as much as 35 days. This is a feat that others are still trying to achieve, And Durrani Associates can now capitalize on this attained competitive advantage by exporting processed mango by sea freight instead of air freight and keep the product fresh for 35 days fulfilling all SPS requirements in Europe, US, Middle East, China and the Far East and also willing to unlock more destinations to market their products including the Australia which have more critical SPS requirements.

He further demonstrated that, their Cold Treatment Facility Designed according to International Quarantine needs and instructions. Automated Potato processing unit is one of its only kinds of facility available in Pakistan. He added that their processed tomato can remain farm fresh more then 8 weeks and Persimmons processing unit one of the only processing unit in Pakistan.

(2.1) Processing unit and structures under observation

(a) Hot water treatment plant of mangoes:

As per required by the USDA (Standards) the mango must treat by 48C for 60 minutes the Hot water treatment plant at Durrani Associate is 70m in length, 2m in width and 1.5m in height.

Processing can be briefly divided in the following steps:

I) Initial Grading

At this stage the mangoes from the different certified orchards and the worker chose the fine disease free injury free and scalp free mangoes to enter into the processing unit. Initial grading is done by manually according to the physical appearance and collects the defected fruit by hand.

II) Initial washing

Mangoes after the initial grading let inside the washing tank of the HWT processing unit where the mangoes washed with the help of hot water about 45-48C with chlorine 200ppm for neutralization of the pesticides and get off the dirt and unwanted materials from the surface of the fruit.

III) 48C hot water treatment tank

This step is more impotent step of the HWT processing of mangoes in white the mangoes pass through the 48C Hot water for 60 minutes, while the pulp temperature must range from 46.1C – 46.6C. This activity kills the larvae and eggs of fruit flies and the bacteria.

Some are enlisted below:

1. Aspidiotus destructor

2. Bactrocera dorsalis

3. Bactrocera zonata

4. Coccus viridis

5. Dysmicoccus neobrevipes

6. Parasaissetia nigra

7. Rastrococcus iceryoides

8. Sternochetus mangiferae

9. Thrips palmi

IV) Waxing tank

After the treatment of mango with 48C water it is found that the shelf life of the mango decreases due to the rate of respiration increase. To prevent this loses and decrease the rat of dehydration waxing the treated mangoes in the waxing tank and the fruit get shine and glowing skin it will also increase the market value. In the waxing tank the pores of mangoes also semi sealed with wax.

V) Air dryer

Before go in for the packaging the mangoes must dry which were wet due to the waxing process. In this tank the air dryers are set up to dry the mangoes.

(b) Packaging:

After the HWT the next step is packaging during the inspection it is found that there is paper cartons of different sizes use for the packing of mangoes according to the sizes and tagging of the brand name also done at this stage for better representation and company promotion. The packaging cartons are 2kg, 5kg, 8kg, and 10kg

(c) Cooling of mango and Storage:

After the packaging the mangoes are let to cool at the room temperature for 2 hours. The infrastructure for cooling purpose in Durrani Associates is rectangular room like structure and the walls are seal with thermopol sheets and the aluminum foil to make it an insulating structure where the temperature can maintain and avoid the escaping of cooling. After the cooling the mangoes then transferred to the cold storage at 11-12C temperature.

(3) Results & Recommendation:

As the above report is representing the struggle of the Pvt Farm and the department of plant protection to unlock the destination to trade more mangoes to international market but the hurdle is fruit fly infestation. To get rid of this problem the HWT and the VHT hot forced air room is recommended universally including USA, UK, Australia, and China. During this survey it is found that the HWT treatment is more reliable and suitable for the exporters of the Pakistan. It’s so convenient to handle and get the better result and earn the handsome income by exporting these treated mangoes to the world market. A spoke man during the survey said that “we never let a mango exit from our premises with out treatment, and neither face any consignment reject from any destination”. On the other hand Pakistan is likely to suffer appallingly huge losses in the export of mangoes to Dubai and London this year. Till June 21, a total of 28, 700 tons of mango has been exported to different world markets of which due to being sub-standard, exporters have suffered a loss of $3 million whereas in UK 50 tons of mango has been destroyed due to the presence of fruit fly resulting in a loss of 1.5 lace this can be over come by proper inspection from field level to the departure of the consignment. And plant protection department strictly regulate the SPS standard from field level, processing level and then transportation. And every exporter must have the USDA standard HWT facility and regularly inspection carried out the facility and processing unit as done in Durrani Associate.

(4) Summary and Conclusion:

Pakistan has great potential to produce high quality mangoes and have near by destination to export and earn the foreign exchange particularly the neighboring countries china, Iran, Golf Countries but HWT is prerequisite to access that market. The present report the facility of private farm that meet the SPS standard and working facility having good results and got access to the international market and have good feed back, and this facility is registered by the several NPPOs of the words and also by the USDA. And here I must conclude this report by this line that we must improve our growing techniques, harvesting techniques, processing techniques and regulate the Phytosanitary measures from the field levels to the ports.

(5) References:




(6) Abbreviations


Hot water treatment


Vapor heat treatment


United state department of Agriculture


Sanitary and Phytosanitary standards


National plant protection


Hot water