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Bangladesh - 2 weeks ago

BD now self dependent in rice

No imports of rice in last 2-yr

Zarif Mahmud: In the last two seasons, there has been a good yield of paddy in the country. For this reason, the import of rice was banned from the beginning of the last financial year. However, due to the rising price of rice in the domestic market, the government later allowed the import of rice on a limited scale. However, no importer responded. As a result, no rice was imported in the outgoing financial year. This is the first time this has happened in the last three decades.
Earlier only 4 thousand metric tons of rice was imported in 2019-20 financial year. This was the highest rice import record in three decades. However, the recent financial year has seen the exact opposite picture of rice imports in terms of wheat imports. After three consecutive years of decline, wheat imports increased to a record amount in the last financial year. In the outgoing financial year, the import of food grains has increased by about 76 percent. In this, the record of the highest wheat import in the history of the country is 2023-24 financial year.
According to the information of the Ministry of Food, Bangladesh did not have to import any rice for three consecutive years in 1990-91, 1991-92 and 1992-93 fiscal years three decades ago. However, from the fiscal year 1993-94 to the outgoing fiscal year 2022-23, rice has been imported more or less every year. And Bangladesh has to import wheat every year. Bangladesh was never self-sufficient in this food grain. However, after 2019-20, there has been a big jump in wheat import in the outgoing financial year.
The amount of wheat import in the outgoing financial year was about 68.08 lakh metric tons. Of this, about 7.84 lakh metric tons are imported by the government. And the private sector imported 60.24 lakh metric tons. Prior to this, in the fiscal year 2022-23, wheat was imported at 38.75 lakh metric tons. In other words, the import of wheat increased by 29.33 lakhtons in the financial year 2023-24. In the financial year 2019-20, wheat was imported 63.66 lakh metric tons.
According to the data, rice has been imported every year since the current government assumed office till the fiscal year 2022-23. Of this, 5.73 lakh metric tons were imported in 2008-09 fiscal year. In fiscal year 2009-10 it decreased to only 88 thousand metric tons. In the next financial year, the import of rice increased to 15.54 lakh metric tons. In 2011-12 fiscal year it again decreased to 5.14 lakh metric tons.
In 2012-13 financial year it further decreased to 26 thousand metric tons. In the next two fiscal years, rice imports increased rapidly again. Of this, 2013-14 fiscal year imported 3.71 lakh and 2014-15 fiscal year 14.90 lakh metric tons. In 2015-16 and 2016-17 fiscal year, rice import decreased again. 2.56 lakh and 1.33 lakh metric tons of rice were imported in those two financial years respectively.
In the next financial year, rice production was greatly affected by various disasters including floods. In this 2017-18 fiscal year, the highest 38.80 lakh metric tons of rice was imported in the history of the country. In the next financial year, the production increased and it again decreased to 1.45 lakh metric tons. In fiscal year 2019-20, nominal rice is imported. But the next three financial years again showed the opposite picture. Out of this, rice import in 2019-20 fiscal year is 13.59 lakh metric tons, 2020-21 fiscal year 9.87 lakh metric tons and 2022-23 fiscal year 10.56 lakh metric tons.
However, food minister Sadhan Chandra Majumdar had earlier announced that there would be no need to import rice in 2023-24 fiscal year due to the good production of Aman and Boro in 2022-23 fiscal year. However, due to the failure to control the price despite the increase in production, it was once announced to import rice in the private sector. No rice was imported in the private sector in the outgoing financial year despite an appeal to the government.
On the other hand, although not as much as rice, wheat imports have also fluctuated every year. In the fiscal year 2022-23, wheat was imported in the country 38.75 lakh metric tons. The amount of wheat import in the previous financial year was 40.12 lakh metric tons, 2020-21 financial year 53.43 lakh metric tons and 2019-20 financial year 63.66 lakh metric tons. This was the highest wheat import volume in the history of Bangladesh, which was broken in the outgoing fiscal year.
Before this, wheat was imported in 2018-19 financial year 55.36 lakh metric tons and 2017-18 financial year 45.05 lakh metric tons. In the previous financial year (2016-17), the amount of wheat import in the country was 56.09 lakh metric tons, 2015-16 financial year 41.99 lakh metric tons and 2014-15 financial year 38.41 lakh metric tons.
In the previous three years, wheat imports were very low. Among them, 26.77 lakh metric tons of wheat was imported in 2013-14 financial year, 17.15 lakh metric tons in 2012-13 financial year and 16.61 lakh metric tons in 2011-12 financial year. However, wheat was imported in 2010-11 financial year 35.96 lakh metric tons, 2009-10 financial year 33.58 lakh metric tons and 2008-09 financial year 23.24 lakh metric tons.

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