2.5 lakh tonnes more paddy to be bought
Emphasis on buying directly from farmers
Staff Reporter :
The government has decided to buy additional 2.5 lakh tonnes of Boro paddy from the farmers directly to ensure its proper price in the market.
With the decision, the total Boro paddy procurement will stand at 4.0 lakh tonnes, it was disclosed at a joint press briefing at the Food Ministry's conference room on Tuesday.
The Ministry of Food and the Ministry of Agriculture have jointly taken the decision with the approval of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Agriculture Minister Dr. Abdur Razzaque and Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder briefed the media about the decision of the government to buy paddy further from the farmers.
According to the government decision, the additional 2.5lakh tonnes of paddy would also be bought at Tk 26 per kilogram from the farmers directly. Buying from the farmers, the Directorate General of Food will store the paddy in its warehouses. Later, the paddy will be crashed by the millers and the rice would be kept in the warehouses.
Earlier in last April, the Food Ministry had given an announcement of buying 12 lakh tonnes of husked rice and 1.5 lakh tonnes of paddy directly from the farmers with a view to giving them incentives for their products. The price of rice was set at Tk 36 per kilogram while the paddy price was set at Tk 26 per kg.
According to the Food Ministry data, the DG Food authority could buy around 3.44 lakh tonnes of boiled rice, 29,052 tonnes Atap rice and 27,652 tonnes paddy from the farmers till June 10.
Although the government has been giving emphasis on buying paddy from the farmers, the millers are interested of supplying rice hurriedly. In this situation, the ministry is giving emphasis on buying additional paddy from the farmers and increasing its paddy stock.
The DG Food officials and rice millers have already been given directives to buy paddy from the farmers. The officials were also asked to go to the farmers for collecting paddy with the government set prices, Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder said.
"If necessary, they will stop receiving rice from the millers until the procurement of paddy is completed," he said.
The minister said that they are planning to buy more from the farmers, so that they can get price of their crops. But, the authority doesn't have adequate spaces in the warehouses. The government warehouses are now preserving around 14 lakh tonnes of food grain against its total capacity of only 20 lakh tonnes.
"In this situation, we are planning to establish a total of 200 steel paddy silos in the country. Each of the silos will have the capacity of 5000 tonnes," he added.
The government usually preserves food grain to ensure its supply during crucial periods, giving necessary food supports through VGF and VGD programmes under its social safety net programmes and ensuring rationing programme for different services of the government, including armed forces, police, RAB and others, he said.
The minister said that from now onwards, the government would buy rice and paddy to enhance its stock. The food grain stock will help the government tackle emergencies during any kind of disaster.
"If it doesn't need for tackling distressed situation, the additional stocks will be exported to different countries," he added.
He said that they could buy around 30,000 tonnes of paddy against its procurement plan of 1.5 lakh tonnes. The rests of 1.2 lakh tonnes of paddy would be bought directly from the farmers. At the same time, they will buy additional 2.5 lakh tonnes of paddy.
He also warned that there is no scope of syndication in buying paddy. The authority will not tolerate any syndication to save the farmers.