After sourcing a record 3.33 million tonnes of foodgrain for public food warehouses in the outgoing financial year, the government has targeted to buy 3.16 million tonnes of the staples in the next budget for FY'24.
Allocation for food procurement both from the external and internal sources have been fixed at Tk 162.38 billion of which Tk 50 billion for buying rice and wheat from the globe.
The government has targeted to buy 0.5 million tonnes of rice and 0.6 million tonnes of wheat from the external sources while 2.4 million tonnes of rice and 0.1 million tonnes of wheat from the domestic markets in FY'24.
The target for distributing foodgrain is same in the proposed budget for FY'24 like that of the FY'23 as 3.1 million tonnes.
However, the actual delivery of foodgrain as per the revised budget for FY'23 was 3.3 million tonnes, according to the finance ministry.
Meanwhile, the food ministry got allocation 0f Tk 65.18 billion or 0.8 per cent of the total allocation of FY'24. The ministry got exact 0.8 per cent also in the FY'23.
Economist and value chain expert Prof Dr Jahangir Alam told the FE that the government could source rice and wheat in time for bringing diverse in its import policy in 2023.
Such effective strategy should also be continued in FY'24 to keep remain a handsome food stock in the public warehouses, he said.
But the import policy for the private sector should be reviewed as they could source only 0.4 million tonnes of rice in the outgoing financial year against permission of nearly 1.5 million tonnes, he said.
He said the existing quota system in rice import by private sector should be removed to bring the grain at time which could help giving the staple at rational price to the inflation-hit consumers.
He also put high emphasis on rice and wheat procurement from the domestic source which is basic to ensure a better food security.
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