The new improved, fuel-efficient rice parboiling system needs to be disseminated widely to boost the country's rice production and cut imports, speakers at a discussion said yesterday.
At present, 3.5 lakh metric tonnes of rice are churned out from paddy each year, but the volume could be increased to up to 8 metric tonnes if the new parboiling system, which uses 50 percent less fuel, is used in all mills, said KM Layek Ali, president of the Bangladesh Millers' Association.
It would also bring down rice imports by 4-5 metric tonnes, he added.
Ali's comments came at a discussion on government support for dissemination of the new parboiling system to all auto rice mills, jointly organised by the government, Bangladesh Bank and GIZ, a German development organisation, at the Rural Development Academy in Bogra.
Easy term loan facilities and the removal of barriers to bank loans for mill owners could help spread the new system all over the country, said Abdul Hamid, secretary of Sherpur's Rice Millers' Association.
The new system would create jobs and scope for female employment, which is why the central bank is encouraging banks to disburse SME loans for it, said Masum Patwary, general manager for SME and Special Programme Department of the central bank.
So far, GIZ has helped set up at least 50 such auto mills in different areas of the country, said Al Mudabbir Bin Anam, component manager for energy efficiency at GIZ.
Taposh Kumar Roy, additional secretary of power, attended the event as chief guest.