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6 December, 2017 00:00 00 AM
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Rice prices up again despite harvest

ANISUR RAHMAN KHAN
Rice prices up again 
despite harvest

Despite the arrival of new rice, prices have again risen by Tk 2-3 per kg in the wholesale markets this week, compared to last week. Rice traders said there is little possibility of prices falling as Aman production is not adequate compared to Boro or IRRI varieties. Besides, the market is also dependent on the supply of Indian rice, they added. Government officials claimed that the price rise is temporary and farmers will benefit from it. Aman paddy (new) is now being sold at Tk 700-800 per maund in markets across the country. On November 30, the government decided to procure three lakh tonnes of Aman rice at Tk 39 per kg from local markets. This began on December 3. Market sources said BR-28 and BR-29, mainly consumed by the poor, are now selling at Tk. 49-50 a kg, up from Tk 47-48 last week.

Besides, the Swarna variety is being sold at Tk 41-42 per kg, up from Tk. 40 last week; Minicate at Tk. 58-59, up from Tk. 56-57; and Nazirshail at Tk. 65-66, up from Tk 59-60.

“It’s true that prices of rice have increased by at least Tk. 2-3 per kg in the wholesale markets,” Anwarul Alam, owner of Anwar Traders in the Mohammadpur Krishi Market, said.

He observed that the prices will not fall till the harvesting of Boro or IRRI in April-May.

“Aman production is not huge like IRRI and Boro. So, prices are dependent on rice imported from India,” he said in reply to a query.

“We're selling a 50-kg bag of Nazirshail at Tk. 3,300 and low quality at Tk. 3,200, which were sold at Tk. 3,200 and Tk.

3,100 last week in the wholesale markets,” Chitta Ranjan Saha of BIsmillah Rice Agency in Mirpur-01 told this correspondent.

“I don’t see any reason for the prices to fall in the near future until the new harvest of IRRI,” he said in reply to a query.

The food department could not explain the price hike.

“We actually don’t know the reason for the price hike, but it’s temporary. Besides, farmers will benefit from the price hike,” the additional director general of the Directorate General of Food, Arifur Rahman Apu, told The Independent.

The government has decided to procure three lakh tonnes of Aman rice this season at Tk. 39 per kg and an order has already been issued in this regard, he said.

The country’s present food stock is about 5.7 lakh tonnes, made up of 3.70 lakh tonnes of rice and two lakh tonnes of wheat, he said in reply to a query.

Some ships loaded with imported rice are also waiting at Chittagong Port, he added.

The government is importing rice from Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam and Cambodia under government-to-government management.

According to food department sources, the annual demand for food grain is about 3.10 crore tonnes. There was a shortage of 20 lakh tonnes of rice in the last season due to severe floods and flash floods in the “haors” (wetlands) and other parts of the country.

Agriculture ministry sources said the government has a target of growing 1.40 crore tonnes of Aman rice this year.

“Harvesting of Aman will start in mid-December. We’re hopeful about achieving this target,” an additional secretary of the agricultural ministry said.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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