The government has decided to procure additional 0.25 million tonnes of paddy directly from the farmers at Tk 26 per kilogram.
The decision came at a press briefing jointly organised by the agriculture and food ministries at the food ministry on Tuesday.
Chaired by Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder, the press conference was also addressed by Agriculture Minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque and Food Secretary Shahabuddin Ahmed.
The government earlier set a target to buy 1.2 million
tonnes of rice and 0.15 million tonnes of paddy this Boro harvesting season.
At the press conference, Dr Razzaque said now the government will purchase 0.25 million more tonnes of paddy.
The minister said his government was very much concerned over the fall in the prices of Boro paddy, according to a release.
"Now lack of necessary food storage is key problem," he said, adding that the capacity of government food warehouses is only 2.1 million tonnes which is not enough at all.
Paddy will be purchased directly from the farmers avoiding any syndicate.
The government is going to buy 3,000 pieces of humidity testers, he added. After purchasing these devices, the farmers could check humidity at their villages before selling their crops, he said.
The food minister said the government is going to build steel-structure silos in 200 places of the country with the capacity of 5,000 tonnes each.
The total storage capacity will increase by 1.0 million tonnes after building these silos, he said, adding that these silos will also have dryers.
"Besides, we are thinking to introduce a mechanism to buy only paddy directly from farmers and then husk them through the millers," he added.
A sharp fall in paddy prices has forced the government to ensure check and balance in the market to give the farmers a relief.
The government has raised the duty on rice import to 55 per cent from 28 per cent. Now it thinks to impose a compete ban on import of the staple.
Paddy is still selling at Tk 400-Tk 650 a maund (38 kg) across the country against the production cost of Tk 880-Tk 1,000 based on places and varieties, according to Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) and Department of Agricultural Marketing (DAM).
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