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23 March, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Food grain stocks soar to record 15.45 lakh tonnes

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT, Dhaka
Food grain stocks soar to record 15.45 lakh tonnes

The country’s food grain stocks touched a record level of 15.45 lakh metric tonnes this month, from a minimum stock of around 3.00 lakh tonnes in 2017, according to sources in the food ministry and the Directorate General of Food. The stock was around 11.41 lakh tonnes this time last year.

According to DG Food officials, the stocks have increased due to successful procurement of rice from farmers.

The DG Food authorities have bought 8.00 lakh tonnes of Aman rice till March 13 this year from the local market.

In 2017, the government had to import a huge quantity of rice from various countries, including India, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia, to meet the local demand, as crops were damaged in flash floods in low-lying areas like "haors" (wetlands) and the northern region.

Despite the huge local production and stocks with farmers and traders, around 2.91 lakh tonnes of rice was imported from various countries this year.

DG Food officials claimed that procurement of this year’s Aman rice and last year’s Boro rice has contributed to the increase in food grain stocks.

Although the price of rice and paddy in the local market has started declining due to the huge stock of food grain, the DG Food authorities would not buy more rice locally right at this moment.

“The authorities concerned want

to empty the godowns, so that they can buy Boro rice from the local market, which is likely to start by May,” a DG

official said.

According to the DG Food data, the country’s food grain stocks have risen to 15.45 lakh tonnes as of Tuesday (March 19). Of the food grain, 13.89 lakh tonnes are rice, and 1.56 lakh tonnes wheat.

Private rice importers have imported around 40.21 lakh tonnes of rice of different varieties this year from different countries, sources said.

This year, the government has fixed the procurement price for Aman rice at Tk. 36, reducing by Tk. 3 per kg, estimating that the per kg production cost varied between Tk. 34 and Tk. 35. The procurement started on February 28, 2019 and continued till March 13.

When contacted, the director general of DG Food, Arifur Rahman Apu, told this correspondent that the government has bought 8.00 lakh tonnes of Aman rice at Tk 36 per kg this year. The rice was bought to provide incentives to the farmers and control the local market, he added.

When asked about further extension of the local procurement limit, Apu replied: “There is no possibility of that happening, because of Boro harvesting. Boro harvesting will begin by mid-April and its procurement will start in May.”

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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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