The Directorate General of Food seeks the green light to buy 2 lakh tonnes of rice from the ongoing aman yield, an official said yesterday.
“In spite of having a good stock, we have proposed to buy the grain considering the interests of farmers,” said Ahmed Hossain Khan, director general of DG Food.
The food office wants to purchase 1.5 lakh tonnes of rice from the aman harvest and 75,000 tonnes of paddy (equivalent to 50,000 tonnes of rice) this year.
Last year, the government bought 3 lakh tonnes of aman rice, Khan said.
Aman output will be good this season and with the arrival of new paddy prices may fall affecting farmers, he added.
The prices of newly harvested aman paddy, the second biggest crop after boro, have already begun falling in the northern region, the country's main rice producing zone. Increased arrivals of fresh harvest, release of old stocks by millers and the government's distribution from its large stocks dampen the paddy market.
The agriculture ministry hopes that production will be higher than last year's actual output of 1.28 crore tonnes as there were no major natural disaster like floods and cyclone.
Although plantations were affected due to inadequate rains and flash floods in some parts, subsequent intermittent rainfall proved to be conducive to aman crop growth, Food Planning and Monitoring Unit (FPMU) said in its latest Bangladesh Food Situation Report.
After buying 14.30 lakh tonnes in the fiscal 2011-12, the government has set the target of purchasing 16 lakh tonnes of food grains, mainly rice, during the current fiscal year.
Of the amount, it has already attained the target of boro rice purchase of 10 lakh tonnes; the government bought each kg of boiled rice and paddy at Tk 28 and Tk 18 respectively. As of November 15, the government's food grain stock stood at 14.67 lakh tonnes.