• Tuesday, Feb 25, 2020
  • Last Update : 09:30 pm

Parliamentary body to govt: Buy more paddy, stop import of rice

  • Published at 08:46 pm May 20th, 2019
File photo of farmers reaping paddy in a field in Moulvibazar Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

The committee also asked the ministry to stop import of rice

Parliamentary Standing Committee has asked Food Ministry to locally procure more paddy than the targeted amount.

The committee also asked the ministry to stop import of rice, a statement said.

“We have asked the government to procure more paddy than the targeted 150,000 ton,” Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Food Ministry Mohammad Nasim said.

“The committee has recommended export of rice even with subsidy,” he added.

He said the recommendation included buying the paddy directly from the farmers instead of third parties.

Food Minister Shadhan Chandra Majumder, who was present at the meeting, said the government has undertaken a project to build 200 paddy silos with 5,000 metric ton capacity throughout Bangladesh.

He said, since the government procures 14% of dry paddy, the farmers are forced to sell it to third parties at lower prices.

“Once the paddy silos are built, the farmers themselves will be able to dry the crops,” he added.

Over the past three weeks, a bountiful harvest has been overshadowed by the grief, and travesty of rice farmers throughout Bangladesh.

Protests have erupted in villages, towns, districts, and in Dhaka as well. In some areas, a standout form of protest has been to set a rice field on fire in order to send a very clear message: selling at current prices is the worst option.

Farmers are demanding purchases be made directly from farms, and that crops be sold at a fair price.

Currently, paddy is sold wholesale at Tk450 to 500 for every maund (1 maund=40kg). Many farmers have said the cost of harvesting each maund of paddy is between Tk1,000 toTk1,500. Other reports say that farmers will suffer a loss of at least Tk300/maund if they sell paddy at current market price.