The High Court bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Khairul Alam issued the ruling following a writ petition hearing Wednesday, September 11, 2019
The High Court has issued a ruling asking why the government should not purchase rice directly from farmers as per Domestic Food Grain Procurement Policy 2017.
The High Court bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Khairul Alam issued the ruling following a writ petition hearing Wednesday,
Aminul Islam Golap, general secretary of the National Farmers’ Association filed the petition on August 18, seeking directives from the High Court.
Advocate Firoz Alam stood for the writ and confirmed the court order.
Secretaries to the ministry of food and agriculture and the Chief of the Directorate General of Food, will have to explain their position to the court within four weeks of the ruling.
the petition cites that the government is supposed to purchase paddy and rice directly from farmers as per Domestic Food Grain Procurement Policy 2017. But in reality, middlemen buy rice or paddy from farmers at a low price and sell it in the markets at a high price.
The farming community has no scope or opportunity to sell their paddy and rice at the declared rate. As a result, farmers have been facing irreparable losses and major damage to their livelihood. Most of them can’t even recover their production cost, the petition said.
The respondents are not purchasing the paddy or rice directly from the farmers. Third-party beneficiaries are availing unlawful and exploitative opportunities to purchase rice and paddy from poor farmers at low prices.
Aminul Islam Golap served a legal notice on July 28 seeking direct government purchase of paddy and rice from farmers and to compensate them for their losses. But the respondents did not pay heed to the notice and came to the High Court.
Months ago, frustrated and exhausted, a farmer even set his boro paddy field on fire.
Abdul Malek Shikder, a farmer of Bankina village in Kalahati upazila, took this path of protest as well.
Abdul Malek said: “The government has fixed the price of coarse paddy price at TK500 per maund. We have to pay a day labourer TK850 a day to harvest paddy.
There are other costs too, to process the paddy. We can’t even find day labourers at such high wages. We can’t harvest properly and in a timely manner, so I set half an acre of my paddy on fire.”