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Paddy purchase to benefit farmers

Rice procurement drive begins in Cox\'s Bazar

Published : Friday, 13 July, 2018 at 12:00 AM  Count : 95

Rice procurement drive begins in Cox's Bazar
COX'S BAZAR, July 12: The government has started rice procurement drive here as elsewhere in the country to increase food reserve during lean period.
The government has a target to purchase 2,000 metric tonnes of rice from Cox's Bazar. But, the farmers have urged the government to procure paddy instead of rice from them.
District Food Controller Office sources said the government will buy rice from 54 listed millers of the district.
District Food Officer Md Tahsinul Haque said the government started to buy sunned rice at Tk 37 from the local millers since May last which will continue till August next. Though the government decided to buy 2,000 metric tonnes of rice, but the deal was signed between the Food Department and the millers to buy 1,424 metric tonnes of rice.
He also said that to procure the rice, the godowns of Ukhia, Ramu, Teknaf, Sadar and Chakaria upazilas were prepared. There are seven food godowns in the district but most of those have been filled with the rice of non-government organisations for feeding the Rohingyas who took shelter in the district since last year.
Though the government started to buy rice at fair prices from the millers, the farmers have remained neglected. Earlier, the government used to buy rice from the famers, but since 2016 they have been buying it from millers only. As a result, the farmers are being deprived of getting fair price. Now, they have fallen into the middlemen's trap.
Sadar Upazila Sub-Assistant Agriculture Officer Lokman Hakim said many farmers are incurring losses as the rice is being purchased from the millers instead of the farmers. He further said that more than hundred farmers of Sadar Upazila have fallen into trouble after cultivating paddy on more lands. They tried to store their yearly necessary paddy at their homes and sell the rest to the government. But, they are frustrated as the government bought rice from millers instead of paddy from the farmers. If this situation continues, the farmers will lose interest in paddy cultivation.

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