Growers are incurring heavy losses being compelled to sell un-husked boro rice below the production costs.
The government intervention created no impact on the situation as the authorities continue to procure rice from the millers though officially the government is required to procure un-husked rice from the growers.
Though food ministry fixed the price of un-husked boro rice at Tk 1,040 for 40 kg, the growers are forced to sell it for Tk 500 to Tk 600, that is less than a day labourer’s daily wage, according to farmers and agriculturalists.
Bumper production is causing the growers’ misery by the middlemen.
Low price compelled growers to burn and destroy boro rice crop.
Food secretary Shahabuddin Ahmed told New Age that the government was planning to procure ‘un-husked rice’ directly from the farmers as the procurement from the millers failed to ensure fair price to the growers.
He said that under the plan ‘200 Paddy Silos would be built across the country to store 10 lakh tonnes of un-husked rice to be procured from the growers.
He said that each silo would have the capacity to store 5,000 tonnes of un-husked rice.
He said that dryers inside the silos would be used for drying and preservation of un-husked rice.
He described the low rice price as a matter of ‘concern’.
A grower at Kalihati, Tangail burnt his boro crop on the field in protest against low price.
Farmer Waizur Rahman of Zampara, Nikhli, Kishoreganj told New Age that he got good harvest but was compelled to sell at below the production cost.
Sohel Bhuiya, a rice miller at Bajitpur, Kishoreganj, said that the growers were selling 40 kg of dried un-husked boro rice for Tk 550-Tk 650 depending on quality.
Department of Agricultural Extension officials told New Age that the boro crop had been fully harvested in seven haor districts but 60 per cent in the remaining 57 districts.
They said that in the haor districts the yield per hectare was 3.77 tonnes.
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