Tk 14 for paddy, Tk 22 for rice
The government has fixed the procurement prices of per kg Boro paddy at Tk 14 while rice at Tk 22 to encourage farmers and protect their interest.
A meeting of the Food Planning and Monitoring Committee also decided that a total of 10.5 lakh tonnes of rice and 1.5 lakh tonnes of paddy will be procured from May 1 to August 30 this year.
Agriculture Ministry officials said the procurement price of rice has been fixed at one or two taka higher than its production cost to protect the farmers from loss amid low price of rice on the local market.
The meeting presided over by Food Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque yesterday also fixed the price of per kg 'atap' (sunned rice) rice at Tk 21.
According to the agriculture ministry, the production cost of Boro paddy is around Tk 13 per kg while Boro rice Tk 20 per kg.
The meeting decided that the procurement drive would start on May 1 and continue until August 30. Finance Minister AMA Muhith and Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury were present at the meeting.
The government will procure 12 lakh tonnes of rice and paddy during the Boro season. In last Boro season, the procurement target was 15 lakh tonnes but the achievement was around 11.67 lakh tonnes.
After the meeting Abdur Razzaque said the price has been fixed after consulting with all concerned. He said prices of rice may go up a little in the market but necessary measures would be taken under safety net programmes so that the marginal consumers are not adversely affected.
After harvesting bumper Boro production for two consecutive seasons, some quarters apprehended that rice price would fall. This time the target for Boro production was 1.8 crore metric tons. But the agriculture ministry sources said production of Boro would be more than the target.
Farmers may again suffer huge loss from Boro cultivation because of downtrend in rice price, which comes as a 'stronger blow' to the peasants.
Rice price, which is now at Tk 16-17 per kg in the major rice producing districts, may go down to Tk 13-14 when Boro harvesting will start in full swing after two to three weeks, farmers and officials concerned said.