Mahfuja Mukul: Rice is not being produced as per the target in the country. As a result, there is a shortage of rice production compared to the demand. Import initiatives have been taken to fill this deficit, but due to various reasons, that too can’t be done. In the current financial year 2023-2024, it was decided to import 5 lakh metric tons of rice to meet the shortage of rice. But till now no rice could be imported. In this situation, all types of rice export may be stopped.
According to the sources, the decision to stop the export of rice may be taken in the meeting of the food planning and distribution committee held on Sunday (October 8). Also, necessary decisions will be taken by discussing the country’s food stock situation in the meeting.
According to sources, the procurement price per kg of paddy-rice will be determined in the meeting. In the last financial year 2022-2023, the target of rice production of three categories (Aush, Aman, Boro) set by the Ministry of Agriculture was not achieved. The total target of rice production was 4 crore 15 lakh 69 thousand metric tons. Against this, the production has been 3 crore 90 lakh 95 thousand metric tons. In the previous fiscal year (2021-2022), the production was 3 crore 81 lakh 45 thousand metric tons. However, although the rice production target has not been achieved, the production target has been increased to 4 crore 33 lakh 13 thousand metric tons in the current financial year.
According to government estimates, currently (as of last October 4) the stock of rice at the government level is 16 lakh 20 thousand metric tons. The government has decided to import 5 lakh metric tons of rice in the current fiscal year 2023-2024 to meet the demand for rice. However, till now no rice has been imported either at the government or private level and no international aid for rice has been received in the last three fiscal years including the current fiscal year.
It is reported that the target of procurement of 3 lakh metric tons of paddy, 5 lakh metric tons of parboiled rice and 1 lakh metric tons of Atap rice in the upcoming Aman season has been set to meet the demand of rice. They will be collected from November 19 to February 28 next year. Before this, a total of 15 lakh 74 thousand metric tons of Boro rice has been collected in the last Boro season.
On the other hand, the government target of wheat production in the country in the current financial year is 12 lakh 14 thousand metric tons. In the last financial year 2022-2023, the amount of wheat production was 11 lakh 70 thousand metric tons and in the financial year 2021-2022 its amount was 10 lakh 86 thousand metric tons.
It is known that currently (as of last October 4) the amount of wheat stock at the government level is 1 lakh 53 thousand metric tons. To meet the demand of wheat in the country, 46 thousand metric tons of wheat has already been imported by the government initiative and another 50 thousand metric tons of wheat is being imported. Besides, an agreement has been made to import 4 lakh metric tons of wheat. On the other hand, the private sector has already imported 12 lakh 39 thousand metric tons of wheat.
According to sources, the price of coarse rice at the retail level in the country has increased by Tk 18.24 per kg, wheat by Tk 17.58 per kg and open flour price has increased by Tk 20.74 per kg.
The price of rice and wheat in the international market will also be highlighted in the meeting. The price of rice has increased a lot in the last four years. Comparatively, the price of wheat increased slightly.
Meanwhile, the price of rice has increased in the current financial year compared to the last financial year, while the price of wheat has decreased.
According to sources, in order to stabilize the market price of domestic rice, it will be recommended to stop the export of all types of rice, including aromatic rice, from the country. A final decision may be taken in this regard in the meeting. Last year, when Square Food and Beverage Limited was allowed to export 3,000 metric tons of fragrant rice from the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Food wrote to the Ministry of Commerce to stop the export of all types of rice, including fragrant rice, from the country in order to stabilize the market price of domestic rice.
According to sources, about 85 to 90 percent of fragrant rice produced in the country is exported. In the last fiscal year 2022-2023, the amount of fragrant rice production in the country was 8 lakh 79 thousand metric tons. However, no fragrant rice was exported during the financial year under review. In the previous financial year, the amount of fragrant rice production was 7 lakh 26 thousand metric tons. Against this, 6 lakh 70 thousand metric tons have been exported.
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