Dhaka, Bangladesh
Govt to buy more rice to offset price fall

Govt to buy more rice to offset price fall

The government has decided to buy an additional 250,000 tonnes of rice from farmers amid a public outcry over falling prices in the domestic market. Falling rice prices are linked to two factors this time: the good harvest of the Boro crop and a glut of imported rice. "We'll buy more rice from the farmers as per the prime minister's instruction," Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder said at a news briefing at the Secretariat on Tuesday. If the latest measures fail to improve the situation, the quantity of rice procurement will be increased further to help ensure fair prices to the farmers, he said. Bangladesh witnessed a surplus of Boro grain this season. At present, the total storage capacity of government warehouses and silos is around 1.96 million tonnes and there are 1.4 million tonnes of food grains in the warehouses, according to the minister, reports bdnews24.com. The government has bought about 30,000 tonnes of Boro rice from the farmers as of now and the government is yet to buy 120,000 tonnes of rice, said the minister. With the latest decision to buy another 250,000 tonnes of rice, the government will buy a total of 400,000 tonnes of Boro rice from the farmers, he added. Earlier, the government had decided to procure 1 million tonnes of grains during the current Boro season, which started on Apr 25. The harvest this season is much higher than the government's purchase target and farmers alleged that the government was not buying paddy directly from them, but from millers and traders, who were forcing the farmers to sell at lower prices. Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque had earlier said the government planned to export around 1 million tonnes of surplus Boro rice after meeting the domestic demand. To offset the fall in prices by limiting imports, the government raised total duty on rice import to 55 percent from 28 percent. Bangladesh's private traders imported 303,000 tonnes of rice in the first 10 months of this fiscal year, forcing local farmers to incur "huge losses".

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