RAJSHAHI: The government has procured 11,352 tonnes of the newly harvested wheat in Rajshahi division during the current season supplementing its efforts to cope with the present novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation in the country, reports BSS.
“We have purchased the wheat from all eight districts in the division till the end of last month under the government’s wheat procurement drive-2020,” said Raihanul Kabir, Regional Controller of Food, while talking to BSS here on Thursday.The food department has also sold 13,810.04 tonnes of flour among the jobless and less-income people at Taka 18 per kilogram through 50 dealers in the division till Thursday last since July, 2019 to tackle the present livelihood related hardships caused by the pandemic.
Meanwhile, farmers have harvested around five lakh tonnes of wheat from about 1.40 lakh hectares of land in all eight districts in the division during the recent past harvesting season.
Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) sources said the growers were seen delighted as they got good yield due to favourable weather conditions everywhere in the region, including its vast Barind tract.
They are also getting a fair price for their produce this season amid the current changing situation arisen out of coronavirus.
On the other hand, procurement drive of the newly harvested Boro rice is going on in full swing everywhere in the division making the farmers happy as they get fair price of the crop.
“We have already procured 81,454.59 tonnes of boiled rice, 3,189.36 tonnes of non-boiled sunned rice and 14,567.3 tonnes of paddy till Thursday last,” said Raihanul Kabir.
He said the government has set a target of procuring 2,39,067 tonnes of boiled rice, 23,664 tonnes of non-boiled sunned rice and 1,42,495 tonnes of paddy during the current boro rice and paddy procurement drive-2020 until the end of August.
“We are procuring boiled rice at the Taka 36 per kilogram while non-boiled rice at Taka 35 per kilogram,” added Kabir.
He said contracts have been signed with 5,369 millers for collecting 2,37,228.4 tonnes of boiled rice while 158 other millers for supplying 20,833.49 tonnes of non-boiled sunned rice. The enlisted millers are supplying rice according to the terms and condition of the contract.
Meanwhile, farmers have produced 34.23 lakh tonnes of Boro rice from 8.03 lakh hectares of land in the division during the just-concluded harvesting season contributing a lot to ensuring food security in the country.
Presently, the grassroots farmers are happy after getting better yield and market price of their newly harvested rice.
This year, the rice production was increased by 59,423 tonnes in four districts under Rajshahi Agricultural Zone compared to the target set by the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE).
The DAE had fixed a target of producing 14.60 lakh tonnes of rice from 3.48 lakh hectares of land in Rajshahi, Naogaon, Chapainawabgonj and Natore districts but the farmers produced 15.19 lakh tonnes from 3.53 lakh hectares in the Rajshahi zone.
The officials are very much hopeful about attaining the entire procurement targets of Boro rice and paddy in the division during the current season as bumper production of Boro paddy had been seen throughout the region this year.
In the present context of COVID-19 pandemic, the demand of rice and wheat flour has been enhanced to a greater extent as many of the government, non-government and volunteer organizations are seen distributing rice and flour along with other food items as relief materials among the jobless and other coronavirus hardest hit families.