Govt plans to provide 10 kg rice to 1 crore families each during Ramadan: Food Minister
Food Minister Sadhan Chandar Majumder on Thursday the government is planning to provide over one crore families with 10 kg rice under Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF) programme in the upcoming Ramadan. He said this while responding to a question from journalists at the secretariat. The country has achieved bumper Aman yield and the country won’t need to import rice once good yield of Boro paddy is achieved, said the minister . He said the government usually distributes rice to people during the Ramadan under rationing, Kabikha, TR and OMS programmes. Read: Govt will continue subsidies to ensure food security: Dr Razzaque " Rice and flour are distributed through 2500 dealers across the country on a regular basis,” he said, adding that the lower-income people can buy 5 kg rice at Tk 30 per kg and 3 kg flour at Tk 24 under OMS programme. He said over one crore families of the country get 5 kg rice and 3 kg flour each round the year and no one will fall in crisis for rice in the Ramadan. 50 lakh families will be provided with 30 kg rice at Tk 15 per kg from March 1 and people usually get rice under the progamme five months—March, April, May, September and October a year.
Food Minister for increasing zinc-enriched paddy cultivation
Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder on Tuesday urged the farmers to increase the cultivation of zinc-enriched paddy for eliminating malnutrition in the country. It is possible to meet the zinc deficiency of people in the country through cultivating biofortified zinc rice, the minister said at the "Biofortified Zinc Rice Award Ceremony 2022" arranged by the Food Ministry in the capital’s Agargaon. Read more: Boost food production to avert any crisis: PM Hasina Most of the people in the country are not aware at all about the biofortified zinc rice or its quality, he said. “We are consuming zinc in chemical form but do not know that we can get this naturally through rice,” he added. So he urged the media to come forward to attract consumers to biofortified zinc rice. He also said that the mill owners of the country produce polished rice as per the demand of the consumers and supply those to market. “Because consumers are not keen to eat zinc rice as it is a bit coarse. Customers or consumers prefer polished rice.” Read more: 27 lakh farmers to get Tk 170 crore as incentives to boost Boro production And so farmers are also not interested in cultivating biofortified zinc rice, said the minister. “Normal rice also contains nutrients, but the nutrients are being reduced after being polished,” he added. He said about 16 lakh tonnes of rice are wasted annually during the polishing process. “There would have been no need to import rice if those had not been polished.” At the event, 11 farmers, three rice millers and 10 food department officials were awarded in recognition to their special contribution in the production, processing and marketing of biofortified zinc rice. Meanwhile, regarding food crisis and possible famine, the minister urged all not to panic and said, “We are aware that there are sufficient paddy and rice in stock.” Strict action will be taken against those who will stockpile rice, Sadhan Chandra warned.
Don’t eat polished rice: Food Minister
Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder on Thursday urged the people to stop eating polished rice and start eating nutrient-rich rice. The minister made the comment while speaking as Chief Guest at a programme titled “The Commercial Journey of Fortified Rice in Bangladesh.” “The government has decided to ensure nutrition in every food. Securing nutrition has been included in all the government’s policies, including 8th Five Year plan,” said Sadhan. He said that the country has achieved food sufficiency thanks to the invention of new varieties of rice by researchers. “There was a time when the country’s rice was nutritious. We’ve to think why this isn’t the case anymore. People are becoming malnourished through eating polished rice. Public awareness is a must to prevent the consumption of polished rice,” Sadhan added. Read: Govt to procure 3 lakh mts Aman paddy at Tk 28 per kg: Food Minister The minister further said that the government faces a shortage of 16-17 lakh tonnes of rice every year due to the polishing process. “Without the initiative and investment by rice traders and rice mill owners, making nutritious rice available to the consumers will be impossible. I urge the traders and the rice mill owners to keep the prices of nutritious rice within the purchasing capacity of the common people,” Sadhan said. Iron, Zinc, Vitamin A, Vitamin B1 and Folic Acid have been added to the nutritious rice. Five companies have taken the initiative to supply the rice to the markets of Dhaka, Chattogram, Khulna and Rajshahi. Among the places where nutritious rice has been marketed experimentally are Dhaka’s Mohammadpur Krishi Market, Karwan Bazar, Shwapno and Agora super shops and Chaldal and Matrix Bazar online shops. Read: ‘We lose 5MT nutrition-enriched rice when 100MT are polished’ says Food Minister The programme was presided over by Secretary of the Food Ministry Md Ismail Hossain. Md Atiur Rahman Atik, Member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Food Ministry, Md Shakhawat Hossain, Director General (DG) of the Food Directorate and Dom Scalpelli, Country Director of World Food Programme (WFP), among others, spoke as special guests.
Govt to procure 3 lakh mts Aman paddy at Tk 28 per kg: Food Minister
The government has set a target to procure three lakh metric tonnes (mts) of Aman paddy and five lakh mts of boiled rice in the upcoming season. Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder revealed the matter to reporters after a meeting of the Food Planning and Monitoring Committee at the Secretariat. Read: Despite repeated warnings, Food Minister rules out any possibility of food crisis in Bangladesh The procurement price of Aman paddy has been fixed at Tk 28 per kg and boiled rice at Tk 42 per kg, he added.
No fertiliser crisis in Bangladesh, strict action against hoarders: Food Minister
Sending out a clear message to hoarders and rumour mongers,Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder Tuesday said that strict legal action would be initiated against anyone trying to create an artificial fertiliser crisis in Bangladesh. “Fertiliser supplies in Bangladesh have not declined even by a single tonne over that of previous year. The number of agricultural land has decreased instead. So, there is no chance of a fertiliser crisis,” Sadhan told reporters after visiting the under-construction rice silo in Naogaon. A panic has been created and as a result those who need one sack of fertiliser are trying to collect two, said the minister. "Even those who don’t need fertilisers are lining up to dealers to grab a sack." Also read: Bangladesh purchases LNG, fertiliser at lower rates as prices fall in global market "We will not spare anyone trying to create an artificial fertiliser crisis in Bangladesh by hoarding or spreading rumours. We will not let any corruption percolate into the sector," the Minister said. Measures like jail custody, imposition of hefty fines and cancellation of dealership will be taken if necessary, he added. Also read: Fertiliser price manipulators face legal action: Razzaque
OMS will continue till rice market is stable: Food Minister
Selling rice and flour through open market sale (OMS) program will continue until the rice market is stable, Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder said today (September 6, 2022). “The government operates the program for five months – from March to April and September to November – every year and the OMS service will continue as long as the market is unstable,” he said. The government started OMS from September 1 and under the service, people can purchase one kg of rice at Tk 30 and one kg of flour at Tk 18. Local administration, officials of Food Department and intelligence team are monitoring the service, said the minister. Talking about Boro procurement, the food minister said the government has procured 11.21 lakh tonnes of boiled rice while 55.20 thousand tonnes of non-boiled rice have been collected. Also read: Offer easy loans to create entrepreneurs: Razzaque to banks “The government has a target to procure 6 lakh tonnes of paddy but we got only 2.68 lakh tonnes,” he said. During the current Aman season, the government will import rice after ensuring fair prices for the farmers. The government is going to procure 10.30 lakh tonnes of rice and wheat from several countries, he said. As per agreement, the government will purchase 2.30 lakh tonnes of rice from Vietnam, two lakh tonnes from Myanmar, one lakh ton from India, and five lakh tonnes of wheat from Russia, he added. He also hinted at more procurement of rice through the government to tackle the drought in advance. An individual can buy five kgs of rice and flour. Besides, the TCB card holders can also avail the opportunity. Meanwhile, the government also started the ‘food friendly programme’ from the same day under which 50 lakh people can purchase rice at Tk 15.
Transgender people will get priority in OMS Program: Food Minister
Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder has said that people from the transgender community will get preference while buying essentials through the government’s Open Market Sale program. The Minister said this while speaking as Chief Guest at a cultural event organized by the transgender community at the Enam Medical College Hospital Auditorium in Dhaka on Friday. Sadhan added that the Social Welfare Ministry has taken up projects to empower the transgender people and ensure their inclusion in the society. “Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said that no one will remain homeless. To fulfill her promise, she has launched the Ashrayan project, through which the homeless people including members of the transgender community are receiving places to stay,” said the Minister. Sadhan also talked about the many benefits that the transgender people are getting under the current government. Read: Food Minister urges people to check food waste “In 2019, the government recognized transgender people as members of third gender through providing them with the right to vote. Currently, the transgender people can use their identity in getting passports and many other services. This shows the emphasis the government has put on improving the living standards of the transgender community,” Sadhan added. The event was presided over by Dr Enamur Rahman, State Minister for the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief, and inaugurated by Momtaj Begum, Member of Parliament from Manikganj-2 seat. Mohammad Abu Naser Baig, Deputy Secretary of the Education Ministry and Majharul Islam, Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) of Savar, among others, attened the event as special guests.
Bangladesh now holds highest-ever food stock: Minister
Bangladesh’s current food stock is highest-ever in recent times, Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder said on Tuesday dismissing any possible food shortage in the coming days. “In spite of the good stocks, efforts are on to increase import of rice to keep the price of the staple under control and ensure food safety,” he told reporters at Naogaon Circuit House. During the Boro season, some 19.50 lakh metric tonnes of rice have been procured until Monday and the procurement drive will end on Wednesday. The Boro procurement target will be fulfilled by the end of this drive, he said. The minister said there is no possibility of a shortage of any kind of food such as rice and wheat as the government has already decided to import wheat from Russia and Ukraine. Read: No bar to import food from Russia, Ukraine: Tipu The government has increased the number of open market sale (OMS) dealers three times for mitigating public sufferings, he said adding the number of OMS centers has been raised from 813 to 2363. Not only that, the government is going to start open market sale (OMS) of rice from September 1 as per the directives of the prime minister, said Sadhan. The TCB card holders can buy OMS rice showing their cards, while others can purchase rice by showing their NID cards twice a month, said the minister. The authorities concerned will ensure that no person can purchase rice through OMS more than twice. After the launching of OMS service and food-friendly programme, the rice price will come down at a tolerable level after a few days, he hoped.
OMS: Rice to be available at Tk 15 per kg from Sep 1
The government will start open market sale (OMS) of rice at Tk 15 per kg from September 1 for 4 crore people of 50 lakh families across the country, said Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder on Sunday. "This programme will run simultaneously in district towns, municipalities and city areas under the Food Friendly Program of the government," he said while talking to reporters at the Secretariat. Read: Food Minister urges people to check food waste The Minister hoped that the price of rice in the market will come under control through this programme. Consumers will get 30 kg of rice per month at Tk 15 per kg, he added. He said, 'We have 2,013 dealers, each dealer will get two metric tonnes of rice per day. The consumers can purchase 30 kgs of rice under the Food Friendly Programme at a price of Tk 15 per kg while anyone can purchase the OMS rice and one person can buy 5 kg, said the minister. Besides, the authorities concerned will keep monitoring the programmes and a decision was taken to strengthen the monitoring system. He also hinted of rice imports. Replying to a question about any impact on production cost following price hike of fuel, Sadhan said “It is a world issue now and it should be better if we can keep the price of rice stable.” The minister also blamed some unscrupulous businesspeople for the soaring price of rice. “We have asked the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection to come to the field as five monitoring committees have been formed,” he said. The deputy commissioners concerned have been ordered to monitor the market price and conducted drive against illegal hoarders.
Urea fertilizer price to readjusted in line with global market rate: Minister
Agriculture Minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque on Wednesday said that price of Urea fertilizer in the local market will be readjusted in line with rate in international market. The hike in Urea price by Tk 6 per kilogram won’t have any impacts on food production in the country, he said. Razzaque said these while talking to reporters before attending a workshop in Barishal city. “The government has been emphasizing on the balanced use of Urea fertilizer for a very long time. Farmers have a tendency to use Urea excessively. The DAP fertilizer contains 18 percent of ingredients found in Urea. That’s why we’ve reduced the price of DAP fertilizer to increase its use instead of Urea,” Razzaque said. Razzaque also said the government hopes that use of Urea will decrease due to price hike. Read: Bangladesh is mechanizing agriculture to boost harvest: Razzaque “Price of Urea in the global market is Tk 81 per kg. The additional price which has been fixed by the government is very nominal. After the hike, prices of Urea will be Tk 20 per kg at the dealer level and Tk 22 per kg at the farmer level, which are still very low compared to the international market,” added Razzaque. Replying to another question, the Minister said that the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is trying to reap benefit from the global crisis. “The people of Bangladesh are conscious and realistic. They haven’t forgotten the misrule, plundering and corruption that BNP leaders committed during their tenure. No matter how much they try, people will keep supporting the Awami League (AL) as it’s the only people-centric political party of the country,” said Razzaque. The workshop was presided over by Md Sayedul Islam, Secretary of the Agriculture Ministry. Serniabat Sadiq Abdullah, Mayor of Barishal City Corporation (BCC), Shahjahan Kabir, Director of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) and Benojir Alam, Director General (DG) of Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), among others, were present at the workshop.