The government has decided to set up an automated rice mill in Patuakhali's Baufal upazila to ensure that growers get fair price of their produce as well as save transportation cost.
A four-member team, led by Barisal Regional Food Controller Reza Mohammad Mohsin, already visited Boga area in the upazila to conduct feasibility study in this regard.
The other members are Deputy Director of Food Department in Dhaka Mohammad Asaduzzaman, acting Food Controller in Patuakhali Mohammad Monirul Haque and Regional Maintenance Engineer for Barisal Region Fanibhushon Devnath.
According to District Food Controller's Office, about 1.50 lakh tonnes of rice are required in Barisal division to meet the demands of the employees of different government offices, including Police, Ansar, Fire Service and different government special programmes like VGD, VGF and OMS.
Besides, about 13.5 lakh tonnes of rice are needed to meet the public demand.
Sources at the office said around 19.4 lakh tonnes of rice are produced in all six districts under Barisal division.
Patuakhali, one of the six districts in the region, is the second highest paddy producing district in the country.
But the authorities concerned have to purchase rice from the northern districts to meet the local demand.
Considering the fact, the food department has decided to set up a modern automated rice mill in Barisal division.
In most cases, private rice mills owners do not show interest in selling rice to government food warehouses, which hampers rice distribution in various government projects as there is no government owned rice mill.
Acting Food Controller in Patuakhali Mohammad Monirul Islam said Boga Food Godown, situated on the bank of Lohalia river on 3.48 acres of land, has one acre of land lying idle where a rice mill can be set up.
As it is at the middle point of Barisal division, transportation of goods by both roads and waterways will be much easier, he added.
If the government sets up the rice mill there local paddy growers will get fair price by selling their produce directly to the mill, he said, adding, the government will also be benefited by saving transportation cost.