A few weeks ago, as Pakistan's Federal Secretary Food and Agriculture, Zia ur Rehman, was busy praising hybrid rice at an international seminar in Lahore, Pakistani farmers were dealing first hand with the reality of hybrid rice in their fields.“On thousands of acres there are lush green paddy fields but the plants don’t have a single shaft of grain on them,” said one farmer to Pakistan's The News. Farmers told reporter Shahzad Anwar that Guard Rice and other Karachi based private seed companies had supplied them the hybrid paddy seeds at a cost of Rs250 to Rs300 (US$4-5) per kilogram. The companies assured them that they would get more than 150 maunds per acre (13.8 t/ha)) by sowing 2 kilograms of the seed. “These companies sold hybrid paddy seed worth around Rs25 million (US$400,000) in Kashmore alone,” said one of the farmers from the Jacobabad District. The farmers said they were now looking to take the companies to court. Yet the seed company representatives and government officials meeting in Lahore were selling a completely different story. Jamshaid Iqbal Cheema, the CEO of Origa, a Pakistani seed company that has been importing Chinese hybrid rice through a collaboration with the Hubei Seed Company for the past three years, told the audience they were getting 110 mounds per acre (10 t/ha) at their experimental farms. A year ago he boasted to the Daily Times that a new Chinese variety they were introducing had a record yield of 170 maunds per acre (15 t/ha).Haji Sons is another company importing seed from the Hubei Seed Group through Hubei's South Asian focussed subsidiary Wuhan Qingfa-hesheng Seed Co. Haji Sons signed an agreement this year to commercialise Wuhan's QY-0413 variety in Paksiatn in 2007 under the brand name "Royal Seeds".Guard Rice, for its part, imports Chinese varieties under a collaboration with Yuan Longping High Tech Agriculture Co that dates back to 1999. In 2000, Shahzad Malik, the Director of Guard Rice, one of the world's largest rice exporters, announced that "the production of hybrid rice seed from China would usher Pakistan in a new era in rice production.” Big words, but where's the grain?