Govt to fix price limit for food grains
The government will fix a price limit for food grains in the food procurement policy to make sure that farmers get due profits and produce adequate crops to cut dependency on food import, Food and Disaster Management Minister Abdur Razzaque said yesterday.
“We must help farmers keep their interest to grow more food grains. For this, we shall fix the highest and lowest price. If anyone crosses the limit, the government will make market intervention,” he said.
Razzaque said this while presiding over a discussion at the ministry on domestic food procurement policy, procedures, problems and prospects.
Food Secretary Mokhlesur Rahman, Bangladesh Agriculture University Vice Chancellor Dr Abdus Sattar Mondal, Brac Executive Director Dr Mahabub Hossain, Centre for Policy Dialogue Head of Research Dr Uttam Deb, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies Research Director Dr Asaduzzaman, Directorate General of Food Pius Costa, farmers and rice millers were present.
“The food procurement policy will be amended before the next food procurement drive. In no way, there should be dependence on food import. Therefore, an improved management will be designed so farmers, consumers and traders all benefit,” the minister said.
The minister, who is an agriculturist by profession, said the farmers might be provided with more subsidies on agricultural inputs to encourage them to grow food crops. Besides, the government may also buy more food to increase prices to help them get just price, he noted.
This year, rice procurement price was more than the market price, but the farmers could not get the expected price, he said, adding that therefore new policy should be formulated.
The food minister said godowns could be set up at private level in the rural areas from where the government can procure rice at a fixed price or traders may buy certain amount of food from farmers at government-fixed price and then supply to the government.