The food ministry today said it tested the wheat imported from Brazil and did not find any grain that is “rotten” or “unfit for human consumption”.
"The samples of wheat were collected in sealed manner from deputy commissioners. These were again tested and the wheat imported from Brazil was found within the specification of contract," said a statement issued by the food ministry.
The statement follows media reports about import of 2 lakh tonnes of substandard wheat from Brazil. Two contractors – Glencore Grain BV, Netherlands and Singapore-based Olam International – supplied the grain early this year.
Glencore has supplied 1.5 lakh tonnes and Olam 50,000 tonnes to the Directorate General of Food. It cost around $46 million or Tk 355 crore, and 90 percent of the payment has been made, said food ministry officials.
Insiders said the wheat was accepted although the suppliers failed to provide the crops’ year certificate and the Certificate of Standard and Quality of Wheat, issued either by Brazil's agriculture ministry or chamber of commerce.
The grain's size imported from Brazil is smaller and the amount of flour produced is also lower, said some food ministry officials.
The statement, signed by Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Food Md Kawser Ahammed, said bidder has scope to supply wheat of any country except for Israel as per public procurement rule.
After arrival at local ports, the wheat is tested and it is accepted if the grain is found within the contract specification.
The Brazilian wheat was accepted after it was found within the specification, said the food ministry.
Following reports of purchase and distribution of substandard quality wheat, the food ministry collected samples of Brazilian wheat from districts and tested the grain again.
"In the test report, no wheat was found rotten or not fit for human consumption," said the statement.
The ministry, however, did not mention where the test was carried out and what sort of test was done.