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Govt to buy 7 lakh tonnes of paddy, rice

The government will procure 7 lakh tonnes of paddy and rice from the millers and marginal farmers across the country during the ongoing Aman season, said Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder on Sunday.

Two lakh tonnes of paddy, 4 lakh tonnes boiled rice and one lakh tonnes of Atap rice will be procured at a cost of Tk 30, Tk 44 and Tk 43 per kg respectively, he said while speaking at a meeting of the Food Planning and Monitoring Unit (FPMU) held at the Ministry of Food.

Last year, the government procured two lakh tonnes of paddy and five lakh tonnes of rice at a cost of Tk 28 and Tk 42 per kg respectively.

The procurement drive will begin at the end of November, said the minister.

Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque, State Minister for Disaster Management Enamur Rahman, Cabinet Secretary Md Mahbub Hossain and officials of the ministry concerned were present.

The Food Minister said the government procured more than 2 lakh tonnes of rice beyond the target in the last Boro season. “Our foodgrain stock is satisfactory. Rice market also remains stable. Advanced allocations have been given to the food friendly programmes and other programmes including the OMS.”

Admitting that onion and potato prices are too much high in the country, Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque said, “It’s very good news for us that we didn’t import rice in the month of Kartik when everything gets dry away. Though the rice price is tolerable, potato and onion prices couldn’t be made tolerable. Regarding the potatoes, cold storage owners are not extending cooperation. In spite of putting pressure, they didn’t release potatoes in the market. At the same time, permission was not given to import onion to attain self-sufficiency. Because of it, onion price is high in the market. The situation will not remain the same in the days ahead.”