Staff Correspondent:The government has decided to import 10 lakh tonnes of cooked rice to keep the rice market stable. It is learned that necessary measures will be taken initially to import 10 lakh tonnes of rice at a private level at 25 percent import duty. For keeping the market price stable, the Ministry of Food can reduce or increase this amount if necessary.
This year, the price of paddy has been fixed at Tk 1,080 per mound, as a result, the farmers got a fair price. Because a farmer’s production cost is not more than Tk 600 to 750 per mound. Therefore, if it is imported, the farmers will not be harmed in any way. As the price of rice has gone up even after the Boro harvest, it is necessary to import rice privately along with government imports in the previous continuity.
Asked about this, Food Secretary Nazmanara Khanum said 10 lakh tonnes of food grains have to be stored as per the policy. In this case, about 5 lakh tonnes will be collected through internal collection and about 5 lakh tonnes will be collected through foreign collection. “But that is not enough to control the market. Providing fair price of paddy to the farmers, as well as market control, requires import at a private level,” she added.
Meanwhile, after reviewing the data of the rice import situation of the Ministry of Food, it has been seen that till April 28 of the current fiscal year 2020-21, the country has imported a total of 7,34,430 tonnes of rice at the rate of 10,870 tonnes per day.
Privately, the government allowed a total of 320 importers to import 10,17,500 tonnes of rice. However, many did not open the LC until the last day of February, even though the permit holders had the opportunity to double the time to open the LC. Again, many of those who opened did not import rice. Some did, but not as much as expected.
On the other hand, according to the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), in the current 2020-21 fiscal year, the country has set a target of 3,96,43,900 tonnes of paddy production. In contrast, till April 25, the yield of paddy per hectare has been found to be 3.29 tonnes from 1,20,366 hectares of land so far.
The DAE said “several hours of heat shock” hit paddy fields in the country during the current Boro season. As a result, 21,000 hectares of paddy land have been destroyed. However, paddy yield has been done in more than 78,000 hectares of land which is exceed the target amount.
In this situation, there is no reason to worry about the price of rice, said the Food Secretary Dr. Nazmanara Khanum, added that the government has already set the highest price of paddy and rice in the country.
The government has announced targets and campaigns to procure 6 lakh tonnes of paddy and 11.5 lakh tonnes of rice from domestic production in the current boro season. As per the announcement, the government will buy paddy from farmers at Tk 27 per kg, 10 lakh tonnes of boiled rice at Tk 40 per kg and 1.5 lakh tonnes of Atap rice at Tk 38 from rice mill owners. This price has been increased by one taka and three taka per kg respectively as compared to last year.
The purchase of paddy has started on April 28. The campaign to collect rice has started on May 6 and will continue till August.
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