Reaz Ahmad

Food assistance for poor declines

This has been a bad crop year so far with back-to-back floods inflicting losses on the agrarian economy and seriously affecting livelihood in half the country.

China-Funded Projects: Dhaka seeks to speed up deals

More than a year after the Chinese president's historic Dhaka visit, some of Bangladesh's key development projects have finally gained momentum.

Aman output likely to fall

Bangladesh is bracing itself for another less productive rice season as the United States Department of Agriculture predicts decline in acreage and yield of Aman. Aman is the most important rice season in the country after Boro.

Some veggies not that safe

Consumers in Bangladesh are still unsure if the vegetables in their daily dishes are safe even though four years have gone by since the Food Safety Act was enacted.

'Super rice' in sight

Scientists have long been considering the idea of engineering rice plant in a way that the global production of the cereal gets a dramatic boost. The idea came from the concern that the traditional research, which results in just one percent rise in the yearly yield, would not be enough to meet the ever-growing demand.

Rich become richer, poor get poorer

The poor's share in the national income eroded further in the past six years, with the richer segment of the population having bigger stakes.

Poverty reduction rate slows down

Bangladesh's rate of poverty reduction has slowed down in recent years.

Rising from dire straits

Bangladesh has not had a food year so bad since 2008. That was a year now well marked in history books as the year of global economic meltdown, the worst since the Great Depression in the 1930s.

Comes wonder wheat

It's a double delight for wheat growers in Bangladesh.

New rice yields high hopes

Release of a new rice variety brings in high hopes as scientists expect it to break the long stagnation in the production growth of the staple.

Marginal farmers have least access

The country's farm sector is dominated by smallholders but the small and marginal farmers have the least access to the credit and agricultural extension services provided by the state.

Revolutionary leader Jasim Uddin dies

The stark contrast between the haves and have-nots has been there throughout human history.

32,000 MT of poor quality rice imported

The first two consignments of rice imported for replenishing the government's low food stock have been rejected over quality concern.

RICE FARMING: A green way to cut cost

Bangladeshi scientists have developed the perfect blend of decomposable waste, biochar, friendly bacteria and rock phosphate to make two most-used chemical fertilisers in the country's paddy fields largely unnecessary.

Rice price shows downward trend

Failing to import parboiled (Shiddo) rice from Myanmar due to high price, the government yesterday approved another deal to import 50,000 tonnes of rice through international tender.

Govt plans OMS for grassroots

With no let-up in the spiraling rice price, the government has planned to expand Open Market Sale of subsidised foodgrains to the upazilas across the country.

Seedlings crisis worries farmers

With crops on 6.11 lakh hectares of land damaged by floods, farmers in 32 districts are in dire need of Aman seedlings to recoup their losses by producing the foodgrain. In many northern and central districts, farmers couldn't plant Aman seedlings as floodwater washed away most of the seedbeds.

Global efforts to fight wheat blast

Global scientific resources have been pooled under an international collaboration to combat wheat blast in Bangladesh so that the

Farm growth slows down

The growth of the country's farm sector has slowed down over the last five years and an expert from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) attributed this largely to the fall in rice production growth. The sector registered a yearly growth of 2.3 percent in 2012-16, down from 4.7 percent in 2007-11.

Haor project put on ice

People in the country's northeastern haor areas remain at the mercy of nature. Every year, pre-monsoon floods come and submerge vast swathes of land, destroying the only crop in the region -- Boro. It seems haor people are destined to suffer.

Food import to double

The government is going to double the amount of food grains it planned to import a few months ago amid high rice prices, fast depleting stocks and a flood ravaging crop fields in the north.

Govt to further slash duty on rice import

In a desperate bid to stabilise rice price, the government has decided to further reduce the duty on import of the staple and strike a deal with Thailand to buy rice.

Dredger purchase beats snail's pace

This is a classic case of inertia, a case that clearly shows how things move in government offices. In 2010, the government planned to dredge and make the country's vast waterways navigable in 10 years.

Fish revolution

With a 25-fold growth in farmed fish market over the last three decades, Bangladesh has been experiencing a quiet revolution in aquaculture. The country grows nearly 20 lakh tonnes of farmed fish a year, and an overwhelming 75 percent of the farmers sell fish to wholesalers.

Divorce doubles, separation triples in one decade

The rate of people getting divorced and living separately from their spouses almost doubled over the last decade, revealed a recent

Cambodian rice brings respite

In a desperate move to replenish the dried up food silos and boost rice supply in domestic market, the government has struck a deal with Cambodia to import 2.5 lakh tonnes of the staple in three months.

Rampal Power Plant: Unesco decisions, govt version differ

Unesco has made it clear that no large-scale industrial or infrastructural development should be allowed to proceed in the vicinity of the Sundarbans before Bangladesh carried out a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for its south-west region.

Water tariff hike once again

City dwellers will have to pay more for using running water from tomorrow as Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) has decided to hike the price by 5 percent only eight months after the previous price increase.

Human Trafficking from Bangladesh: Kingpins remain unpunished

In the last five years, as many as 2,733 people have been rescued from the clutches of human traffickers in Cox's Bazar. And 242 cases were filed against some 1,355 people over the incidents. However, not a single one has been disposed of.

Govt moves to buy rice from Cambodia

As two successive attempts to import rice from Thailand and India have apparently fallen through for high prices, the government is now seeking to buy the staple from Cambodia.

Pesticide killed the 13 Dinajpur kids

A globally banned toxic pesticide caused an outbreak of acute encephalitis syndrome (AES), killing 13 children in Dinajpur in 2012, says a study published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene on Monday.

Dhaka can follow Shanghai’s example

Before landing at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Zhu Ruo lin saw Dhaka from a bird's eye view and also took some photographs.

Early marriage even earlier

Over the last five years, more women got married at a younger age while men's average age of marriage kept going up. Last year, women's average age of marriage was 18.8 years, dropping from 19.3 in 2012. During the period, that for men rose to 26.3 from 24.7.

Public Bank Scams: Problems left to persist

Governance failings and appointment of politically linked people to the boards of public banks have been contributing to default on large loans, frequent scams and poor recovery of stolen money.

Rice crisis catches Qamrul napping

This year's unusual hike in rice prices caught Food Minister Qamrul Islam napping. Both Qamrul and the ministry he leads seemed ill prepared all along, but the minister has his own logic for that. “I'm no astrologer,” he told The Daily Star, "How could I possibly anticipate that there would be such a devastating flood?"

Govt to buy more rice from Thailand, India

Bangladesh is now trying to buy rice from Thailand and India under the government-to-government arrangement, weeks after striking a G2G deal to import the staple from Vietnam.

A riot of colours

It is indeed a fiesta of foliages and plants. A riot of colours; colours of flowers - that come in all shades and hues.

Backtracking on New VAT Law: Big businesses appeased

It was mainly the pressure from big businesses that led to the government's backtracking on its decision to implement the new VAT law. Appeasing the people in general was not much of a reason, which the government has been touting. The late u-turn of the government last month has left the National Board of Revenue (NBR) in a spot of bother, as it now has to fill a gaping hole in its revenue collection target.

Education a mirage for them

There are about 10 million out-of-school children, adolescents and youths in Bangladesh, says a new Unesco policy paper.

Wheat import triples in 5yrs

Bangladesh has emerged as a leading wheat importer in the world with its import volume hitting a record high in the current fiscal year, mainly due to a shift in consumers' diet preference and flourishing baked food market.

The curious case of rice price hike

A minister was telling me the other day that if people don't mind spending Tk. 300 on a cheese burger, why can't they afford a little more for rice?

No sign of stability in rice market

Rice import by the private sector has dropped to a four-year low at a time when its prices have shot up in the domestic market. Traders imported only 1.2 lakh tonnes of rice till mid-June in the current fiscal year against 2.56 lakh tonnes in the previous fiscal year.

Costlier import gets nod

The government yesterday sanctioned 2.5 lakh tonnes of rice import from Vietnam at prices much higher than that of another one lakh tonnes it approved for import two weeks ago.

IMF identifies future risks for Bangladesh

Considering the fast approaching general election in Bangladesh and a likely post-Brexit economic slowdown in Europe, the International Monetary Fund has identified seven risk areas where Dhaka needs to take policy measures.

Safety Net: Where does the money flow?

The government will keep aside almost three-fourths of the proposed increase in the social safety net allocation for giving retirement benefits to public employees in the next fiscal year.

GARLIC gone crazy

When the price of garlic in China is plummeting with a huge harvest in the country's north, Bangladesh is seeing price hike of imported garlic.

Life-saving drug to get pricier

It's a life-saving drug often prescribed by doctors for patients with serious kidney and liver problems and also for newborns with a blood-related disease. But to get this already pricey drug called albumin, patients will have to pay more, thanks to the imposition of 15 percent value added tax (VAT) on it on top of a 4 percent advance income tax (AIT) and 5 percent advance trade VAT (ATV).

Coarse rice price soars

Among the essential commodities, coarse rice price registered the highest rise in the last one year, according to the state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) which keeps track of prices of daily necessities.

June 5, 2017
June 5, 2017

Excise hike to pile up woes for middle class

Halima Khatun, a 55-year-old widow, has to rely on income from fixed deposit receipt (FDR).

June 2, 2017
June 2, 2017

Subsidised food for the poor

The government has decided to provide the poor with subsidised food, despite experiencing a bad crop year owing to early deluge in

June 1, 2017
June 1, 2017

Safety net set to widen

The number of beneficiaries, who get allowances and food from the government under various social safety net programmes (SSNPs),

May 31, 2017
May 31, 2017

Budget to get 26pc bigger

When Finance Minister AMA Muhith presents the budget in parliament tomorrow, he will likely gloat about it -- Tk four lakh crore in size -- which is 26 percent bigger than the one for the outgoing fiscal year. Not that presenting a big budget is of great significance for Muhith; he has been doing it for the past few years. In fact, it is under his tutelage that the budget has risen from below Tk one lakh crore in 2009 to Tk four lakh crore this time around.

May 31, 2017
May 31, 2017

Move to speed up fast-track projects

A fifth of the forthcoming fiscal year's total development budget is earmarked for six fast-track projects to make their progress visible before the next general elections.

May 30, 2017
May 30, 2017

Budget for Next Fiscal Year: Bigger subsidy on food likely

The government is getting ready to further increase its fiscal outlay on food dole in the 2017-18 fiscal year.

May 14, 2017
May 14, 2017

Govt goes for rice-fix

Amidst a major Boro crop loss, Bangladesh for the first time in five years is going to the international market to buy rice with the aim of reining in the soaring prices of the staple.

May 9, 2017
May 9, 2017

ADB to double lending to Bangladesh

The Asian Development Bank is upscaling its loan portfolio in Bangladesh to nearly double this year, to keep pace with its economy

May 8, 2017
May 8, 2017

Muhith opposes proposal of ADB regional hub

Bangladesh is opposed to any regional hub of the Asian Development Bank as most country and sub-regional offices are faring well,

May 8, 2017
May 8, 2017

PPP a way forward for Asia's growth: ADB

Asia's future development funding has to come from the private sector through public-private partnerships, said Takehiko Nakao,