Moyen Uddin was overjoyed after being able to sell his Boro paddy at a government procurement installation at a fair price, thanks to the proac-tive initiative from the Kushtia district commissioner.
A marginal farmer of Alampur village in Kushtia sadar upazila, Moyen sold 25 maunds of paddy at Kushtia sadar food warehouse yesterday. He was all smiles when he held his cheque of Tk 26,000.
“It saved me from incurring huge loss,” Moyen said while referring to the current low prices in the open market where farmers are compelled to sell a maund of paddy at Tk 500-580, when the government procure-ment rate per maund has been fixed at Tk 1,040.
The government has fixed the procurement price of paddy at Tk 26 per kilogram for this year’s Boro harvesting season.
Moyen is one of the thousands of lucky farmers inducted in the govern-ment Boro procurement list. He said he cultivated paddy on his four bighas of land and harvested 82 maunds.
He said he received a phone call from Kushtia sadar upazila agriculture office on Friday. They asked if he was willing to sell his paddy to gov-ernment food warehouses. Moyen gladly accepted the offer.
Other listed farmers in the district were also receiving the same phone calls. It was due to the efforts of Kushtia Deputy Commissioner (DC) Aslam Hossain, who told this reporter that he had been directly involved in the procurement process since last Wednesday.
“All steps have been taken so that original farmers can directly sell their paddy,” the DC said.
“We need to emphasise on providing support to marginal farmers who are not able to store their products,” he said, adding that he had instruct-ed all concerned officials to communicate with the listed farmers so that there was no chance of brokers’ infiltration.
Since he inaugurated the procurement on Wednesday, a total of 90 tonnes of paddy have so far been procured from six upazilas of the dis-trict.
He said a total of 1,024 tonnes of paddy would be procured from the en-tire district. The beneficiaries will be the 2,440 listed farmers with an op-tion of selling not more than three tonnes each. It was in line with the government’s decision of procuring 1.5 lakh tonnes of paddy from farm-ers across the country this Boro season.
DC Aslam admitted that “it is very little amount” they were procuring considering the cultivation of a projected 145,000 tonnes of Boro paddy on 35,315 hectares of land this year by nearly 22,000 farmers in the district.
“But it will help ease the ongoing unstable price situation of paddy,” he added.
Speaking to The Daily Star, the designated upazila agriculture and food officials of the district said they were in contact with the listed farmers and also giving necessary instructions like drying the paddy properly so that the amount of moisture in the paddy was maintained for storing pur-poses.
“We are telling the farmers to dry the paddy properly before taking it to our warehouses,” said Manwar Hossain, the district’s food controller.
He said this paddy would be kept at the warehouses for at least one month.
“Local administration and local public representatives are helping in this regard,” he added.
Asked about the fund for the procurement of rice, Manwar said the mon-ey had already been allocated by food ministry to all government banks in favour of the food offices.
He also said the farmers can withdraw their money by depositing the cheques in their bank accounts in any government bank.