The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) thanked the Punjab governor on Monday for honouring the private sector for developing two new varieties of rice seeds. In two separate letters to Governor Muhammad Balighur Rehman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Guard Rice Shahzad Ali Malik, LCCI President Kashif Anwar said it was a matter of great pride that Guard Agriculture Research institute had proved that Pakistani researchers have all abilities to compete with the global partners. “The recognition will highlight the excellence of Pakistan’s agricultural research on the global stage,” he remarked. He said that development of these new rice seed varieties showcased the innovative efforts and dedication of Pakistani researchers in enhancing agricultural productivity and contributing to the country’s agricultural sector. This achievement not only benefits the farmers by providing them with improved seed options but also strengthens Pakistan’s position in the international agriculture market. The LCCI president said that agricultural research played a crucial role in addressing global food security challenges, improving agricultural productivity, promoting sustainable farming practices, and ensuring the overall well-being of rural communities. He said that the global population was growing rapidly, and agricultural research was essential to develop innovative techniques and technologies that could increase food production. He said by studying plant genetics, crop breeding, and optimizing farming practices, researchers could develop high-yielding and disease-resistant crop varieties, improve irrigation methods, and enhance agricultural systems to meet the growing demand for food. It is important to note that Punjab Seed Council has approved the open pollinated extra-long grain rice varieties Guard 101 and 102 that ensured around 25 per cent higher per acre yield. Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, along with the entire business community, congratulated Shehzad Ali Malik on this well-deserved award and expressed confidence in the continued success and advancement of Pakistan’s agriculture sector through dedicated research and development efforts.