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Paddy farmers fear loss for delay in fixing price

Published : Monday, 14 January, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 171

RAJSHAHI, Jan 13: The local farmers are apprehending loss due to delay in fixing price of paddy and rice by the government for this season.
The farmers said they cultivated paddy with hard toil and dream of something better; but, during the sale of the paddy, their dreams are shattered due to fall of the price.
The government started buying paddy in the district from December 1, 2018, but their expectation is not being fulfilled, the farmers alleged. They claimed that due to the delay in fixing price and the syndication of the market, they are not getting fair price of their produce.
According to sources at the Food Department,  the price is fixed through coordination with the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE). This year 238 rice mills signed deal with the government to buy Aman paddy.
Deputy Director (Garden) of the DAE in Rajshahi Abdul Wadud said Aman paddy was cultivated on 75,166 hectares of land in the region. The average yield in per ha is 7.57 tonnes this year, which was 3.3 tonnes last year. The production is 1.96 lakh metric tons.
The farmers, however, did not get the fair price of the paddy. They had to sell per maund of paddy at Taka 500 to 600.
Farmer Abul Kashem of Kharkhari City Bypass Lolitahar area in the city said, "I cultivated Swarna paddy on 5.5 bighas of land this year spending Taka 12,000 in per bigha. Last year, I had to spend Taka 9,000 for the cultivation. But, it rained less this year, so we had to spend much for                  irrigation."
He also said, "We could make profit if the government would fix the price of paddy during the start of the sale season. Taking the chance of low price, the hoarders have bought the paddy and stored it. As a result, we are not getting fair price."
Abdullah Al Mamun, owner of Munshi Traders in Godagari Upazila of the district, said there is no effect in the market when the new rice arrives in the market. But, the price falls if the supply is more.
Sources said the government will buy 7,733 metric tons of rice at Taka 36 per kg from the district this year. To meet the government's demand, the millers are buying rice at more prices from the hoarders.
Md Afsar Ali, owner of M/s Dola Rice Mill at Paba Upazila, said when it is thought that the price will increase then there is no synchronisation between the price of paddy and rice.
District Food Controller Md Nazmul Haque Bhuiyan said the price of paddy and rice has been fixed through coordination with the agriculture department. The farmers will not suffer loss. The price of paddy has been fixed as per the production cost. The allegation of farmers is not correct.

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