Strict action if anyone tries to destabilise rice market: Food Minister
Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder on Sunday warned that stern action will be taken against those who will try to destabilise the rice market in the country. The condition in the rice market must be monitored as well as make the Boro paddy procurement drive a success, he said in a virtual view-exchange meeting on ‘Boro 2022 season’s internal procurement and market monitoring’ at the secretariat. “If any attempt is made to destablise the rice market action will be taken against those involved in it irrespective of their party affiliation,” he warned. There is an unhealthy competition among traders to buy and hoard paddy thinking that it to be profitable but it will not bring good results, said the minister. Also read: Budget 2022-23: Govt to increase fertilizer subsidy to ensure food security Thinking that Russia-Ukraine war may trigger food crisis in Bangladesh, many are hoarding paddy illegally, said Nirod Baran Saha Chandan, president of the Naogaon Paddy and Rice Wholesale Traders’ Association, at the meeting. Noting that new rice is not coming to the market yet, Sadhan Chandra said the rice that is available in the market now is last year’s old rice. “So where is the new rice going?” he asked the mill owners. He also directed the mill owners to report to the officials concerned of the food department on how much paddy is bought by whom and who is marketing how much rice after crushing. Various corporate houses have started rice business, he said adding they are buying and packaging rice and selling those in the market at higher prices. The minister also directed the officials of the food department to hold a meeting as soon as possible with the corporate houses involved in rice business. Meanwhile, many countries of the world including India have sent letters expressing interest to export wheat to Bangladesh, he said. Also read: No food shortage in country: Agriculture Minister The food minister also said nor’westers have damaged paddy in the northern parts of the country and it is important to ascertain the exact amount of losses in each district.
Less is more when it comes to rice prices in Bangladesh
Rice is not just the staple food in Bangladesh, it is at the heart of overall life – culture, politics, and economy. The price of the grain remains a sensitive issue for everyone – producers, consumers and policymakers. It affects poor consumers who have the major proportion of calories from rice. For producers, rice cultivation often accounts for a large share of annual household income. Rice consumption in Bangladesh is growing every year. It was 36.3 million metric tonnes in 2016 and is expected to reach 39.7 million metric tonnes within a few years, according to Mordor Intelligence. Despite government interventions, stable production and almost insulated domestic market, consumers and farmers are suffering from the soaring price of rice. The debate goes on – for years and years, consumers are paying more, but the farmers are being underpaid. And queues of people behind mobile trucks and stores for subsidised rice are getting longer.
Drought casts shadow over boro yield in Khulna
These days, farmers in Khulna district are a worried lot. Having grappled with drought and the unrelented heat wave for the past eight months, the farmers fear they may not be able to even recover the production cost of boro paddy this year. Though the farmers are now looking towards the government for some financial help, there has been word from the authorities concerned on the situation so far. "We expected a good harvest, but inclement weather played spoilsport in harvesting this year," said a farmer. Read Countrywide Boro paddy procurement begins In fact, the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) in Khulna has set a target to produce 57,000 metric tonnes of boro paddy on 57,540 hectares of land this year, of which 21,000 hectares have been brought under the dry season rice cultivation in Dumuria upazila alone. Already, many farmers have harvested their paddy and threshing work is on. Boro is the dry season irrigated rice crop planted between December and early February and harvested from April to June. Also read: Govt to buy 11.50 lakh mts Boro rice
Farmers in Bishwanath happy with Boro yield
Even after hail storm and insect attack, this season Boro crop has provided a good yield for farmers in Sylhet’s Bishwanath upazila this year. Cultivation of Boro paddy has exceeded the target there. Already Boro on 1.6 thousand hectares of land has been harvested and the farmers are happy at the super yield this year. Most farmers are busy harvesting ripe paddy. Also read: Jagannathpur farmers fret over stagnant water as boro yield hit There is no labour crisis this year and the government is providing subsidized rice harvesting machines. According to the Upazila Agriculture Extension Department, the target for borough cultivation in Bishwanath this year was set at 7.2 thousand hectares of land. Already Boro crop have been cultivated over 7.3 thousand hectares of land. Read Farmers in Laxmipur char leading the way in vegetable production The target for paddy production is 35 thousand metric tons this season. Farmer Jaber Ahmed of the upazila said, "I have cultivated Boro paddy at low cost without insecticides. Compared to other seasons, this time the yield has been as expected." “We are also happy getting a good price of paddy in the market," he added. Also read: Severe cold threatens Boro seedbeds in Kurigram Bishwanath Upazila agriculture officer Kanak Chandra Roy said farmers have already harvested 22% of the planted paddy and several sophisticated rice harvesting machines have been distributed among the farmers at subsidized rates. He further said, farmers will undoubtedly benefit from the good yield of Boro paddy this season. Due to low rainfall this year, the haor areas are not still filled with water and several crop fields are still visible. Read The curious case of onion 'lifting’ in Satkhira
Jagannathpur farmers fret over stagnant water as boro yield hit
This year, many farmers in the haor areas of Sunamganj's Jagannathpur upazila have still not been able to prepare boro paddy seedbeds due to "water stagnation in their farmlands".
Severe cold threatens Boro seedbeds in Kurigram
A cold snap, disrupting life in the northern part of Bangladesh, will likely to damage the Boro seedbeds if the weather does not improve and potentially trigger a seedling crisis.
Faridpur farmers losing interest in boro crops
A high production cost and low prices of the products have led to a decline in boro cultivation in Faridpur over the years as frustrated farmers go for cash crops.
Khulna farmers losing interest in boro paddy cultivation
Low prices for crops in the previous season, the burden of loans and costly labour are discouraging an increasing number of farmers from growing boro paddy this year. Agricultural experts said farmers in the southern region are turning away for various reasons, including increasing agriculture labour wage. This year, Khulna farmers did not buy 900 metric tonnes of boro seed of BADC. Locals said aman paddy on 25,000 hectares and vegetables on 864 hectares of land were damaged during cyclone ‘Bulbul’. Besides, pest infestation damaged crops on several hundred acres in Rupsha, Botiaghata and Dumuria upazilas. Farmers could not harvest anything but straws. Thousands of farmers were affected. Besides, they did not get fair prices for their produces in the aman season. Md Liaqat Ali, Deputy Director of Khulna BADC (Seed), said cyclones ‘Fani’ and ‘Bulbul’ caused massive damage to farmers. “There was a high demand for hybrid variety of,seed. Besides, many farmers opted for onion due to the unexpected price hike,” he said. Sources at the agricultural office said 2,000 metric tonnes of seeds were allocated in the BADC’s warehouse of Satkhira, Kaliganj and Bagerhat for the current season. These include BR-26, BR-28, BRI-29, BRI-47, BRI-58, BRI-63, BRI-67, BRI-74, BRI-81 and BRI-86 varieties of paddy.
Govt going digital for procuring food grain from farmers
Dhaka, Dec 27 (UNB) – The government will use a mobile application – billed as ‘Krishoker App’ – to collect food grain directly from farmers across the country, Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder said Friday.