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Rice yield hits record high

36.2m tonnes produced in FY '18, but prices still higher in city markets

Yasir Wardad | August 28, 2018 00:00:00

The country's rice production hit a new record of 36.2 million tonnes in the last fiscal year (FY), 2017-18.

According to the official data, the output was 7.1 per cent higher than that of FY '17.

It was 34.7 million tonnes (the then record) in FY '15 which declined to 34.68 million tonnes in FY '16 and then to 33.79 million tonnes in FY '17.

The provisional estimates of the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) showed Boro and Aman yields reached 19.5 and 13.9 million tonnes respectively in FY '18.

The amounts produced in the fiscal surpassed their all past records, the BBS data said.

Despite a bumper yield in FY '18, market insiders said, rice prices in city markets were still higher.

Boro production decreased by 5.0 per cent to 18.0 million tonnes in FY '17 than that of FY '16.

Devastating floods contributed to the massive damage of more than 90 per cent of the staple in haor [wet] area.

But bumper harvest was marked by 8.6 per cent growth in FY '18 from that of FY '17, the BBS said.

However, Boro output in FY '18 was also 2.09 per cent higher than that of the previous record of 19.1 million tonnes in FY '15.

Farmers cultivated rice on 4.85 million hectares of land in the last Boro season. It was 4.45 million hectares in FY '17, BBS data showed.

Meanwhile, Aman output increased to 13.9 million tonnes during the period, a 2.47 per cent growth from its previous output.

Aus output also increased to 2.7 million tonnes, nearly 27 per cent growth over that of FY '17.

Mohammad Mohsin, director general of the Directorate of Agriculture Extension, said higher acreage, good weather and quality seeds helped get good harvests.

Aman plantation is almost completed across the country, he told the FE.

Mr Mohsin said Aman acreage is expected to be at 5.65 million hectares this season.

The agriculturist said this year's Aus harvest from 1.14 million hectares has started across the country.

However, the prices of rice were still much higher in the city markets despite the bumper output.

On Monday, coarse varieties like Swarna and hybrids sold at Tk 45-50, medium-quality Brridhan-28 at Tk 54-56 and fine-quality Jeerashail, Miniket and Najirshail at Tk 62-75 a kilogram.

The Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) data showed rice varieties are still 9.0 per cent to 54 per cent higher than that of last year in the city.

According to food ministry, rice imports were also an all-time high (4.1 million tonnes) in FY '18.

On higher prices, Consumers' Association of Bangladesh secretary Humayun Kabir Bhuiyan said consumers did not reap the benefits of record rice output.

The country imported an all-time high 4.1 million tonnes of rice during the period, he mentioned.

Mr Bhuiyan said millers, importers and traders should be brought under watch to keep prices within the commoners' purchasing power.


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