The government has decided to import rice from India and some Southeast Asian countries as the local millers refused to supply the staple at the agreed prices.
“The government will import rice to keep the market stable in the country,” said a press release of the Ministry of Food on Tuesday.The minster reiterated the government’s previous plan to import rice in case the millers refuse to supply the rice at the agreed price, despite a bumper harvest of boro paddy in this season.
The food ministry is heading for importing paddy and rice from Vietnam, Cambodia and India to contain price hike of the staple.
So far, the government procured 51,000 tonnes of paddy and 25,000 tonnes of rice against the primary target of 10 lakh tonnes of paddy and 11 lakh tonnes of rice this season, according to the Food Ministry.
The government has decided to purchase 1.9 million tonnes of rice this year. They will buy 1 million tonnes of boiled rice at Tk 36 per kg from the millers and 1.5 million tonnes of Atap rice or sundried rice at Tk 35 per kg. It plans to buy 800,000 tonnes of Boro rice directly from the farmers.
Refusing to sell the rice at a government quoted price of Tk 36 per kg, some mill owners want to hike the price, jeopardizing the government goal to stockpile rice as part of its efforts to ensure food security during the coronavirus crisis.
Rice millers demanded a Tk4 increase per kg rice as an incentive.