• Saturday, Dec 04, 2021
  • Last Update : 01:25 am

Rice Procurement: Govt favours millers over farmers in Rangpur

  • Published at 11:04 pm May 18th, 2020
File photo: Farmers stack paddy in Raninagar upazila Dhaka Tribune

Paddy growers said they have taken huge loans from money lenders for cultivating and harvesting paddy

The government has started buying rice from millers in Rangpur while direct procurement of Boro paddy from farmers in the district has not begun yet.

According to official sources, the government has decided to procure 30,000 tons of boiled rice from millers, and 24,000 tons of Boro paddy from farmers in the district. 

The rice will be bought at Tk36 per kg and paddy at Tk26 per kg.

The Rangpur Regional Office of the Department of Food has already signed contracts with 8,040 millers for the procurement in the district.

However, farmers in eight upazilas of the district said the government is dilly dallying in procuring paddy which is frustrating for them..

Paddy growers said they have taken huge loans from money lenders for cultivating and harvesting paddy.

As a result, they are now compelled to sell paddy at Tk 18 to 20 per kg in the markets to pay off the loans with interest, giving them returns that are lower than the production cost.

Taking advantage of the situation,  millers are buying paddy in the open market at low prices and selling rice to the government at higher rates, the farmers said.

If the procurement does not begin in due time, they have to incur huge losses, said the farmers.

They also said committees tasked with making a list of farmers in every upazila, always gives priority to wealthy farmers.

An official of Rangpur Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), seeking anonymity, said his office  tasked with making a draft list of farmers has not begun the procedure yet. 

The draft list made by the DAE will be sent to the upazila parishad procurement committee, which will select farmers by lottery. He added: "It will take at least two months to complete the final list of farmers."

Asked when Boro paddy procurement will begin, district food officer Abdul Kader said the purchase of Boro paddy will begin after making the final list.

Regarding the matter, DAE Deputy Director Sarwar Alom said paddy procurement will continue till August. The process of paddy procurement is going on.

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