The government would procure 6 lakh tonnes of paddy directly from farmers in the current Aman season, Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque said yesterday.
He said underprivileged farmers would get priority in the procurement and a lottery would be held in this regard.
The minister was addressing the inaugural session of 7th Bapa FoodPro International Expo 2019 at International Convention City Bashundhara.
He said paddy prices went up by Tk 100-Tk 200 per maund after the government’s announcement of procurement which was positive news for farmers. But the ministry is always in dilemma over the hike and fall of prices, he added.
“We are criticised when prices fall and face pressure when prices go up.”
Although there is a huge stock of rice, media outlets are carrying reports on price spirals and the prices of rice have gone up by Tk 4-5 per kg in the last one week, Razzaque said.
“Once Bangladesh was deficient in food production. Though Bangladesh is a disaster-prone country, it has achieved much success in food production. The government has taken a number of initiatives to boost food production.”
The minister said as Bangladesh is a densely-populated country, its arable land is shrinking fast which is a great challenge to the nation in addition to natural calamity.
He thanked Bangladesh Agro-Processors Association (BAPA) as the export of agricultural goods from Bangladesh has exceeded $400mn.
BAPA President AFM Fakhrul Islam Munshi, Agriculture Secretary Md Nasiruzzaman, acting Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Bishwadip Dey, and Country Representative of FAO Robert Douglas Simpson, among others, spoke at the event.
The three-day show on the food processing sector will end tomorrow.