Govt plans to build 200 paddy silos, 5 auto-rice mills soon
The government is going to construct 200 paddy silos made of steel in the country including the Haor areas to ensure procurement of 10 lakh metric tons of paddy directly from the farmers every year.
At the same time, it will establish five high quality auto-rice mills in the country. Of those, at least one auto-rice mills will be built in the Haor areas, so that the Haor people can get adequate price of their produce during the season, according to sources at the Ministry of Food.
The sources claimed that as part of the initiative, the Directorate General of Food has already completed a feasibility study. It has also asked its field level officers to select proper places for building the silos and auto-rice mills with the huge investments, so that the farmers can be benefited.
When contacted, Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder told this correspondent that they have already conducted a feasibility study for the project. They have a plan to establish 200 steel built paddy silos in the country. Each of the silos will have a capacity of preserving 5,000 metric tons of paddy.
As a result, it would be able to buy total 10 lakh tonnes of paddy every year from the local growers. It would help the government ensure proper price of paddy and tackle the local food grain market from the government's own stock, he said, adding that the issue was discussed at last Tuesday's ECNEC (Executive Committee of the National Economic Council) meeting.
He claimed that all the ECNEC members including Prime Minister Sheikh
Hasina have given their positive signals. The authorities concerned have been asked to prepare a complete Detailed Project Proforma (DPP). Once the DPP is prepared, it would be sent to the Planning Commission for ECNEC's approval.
Once the approval of ECNEC is received, the authority will start construction of the silos soon and complete constructions of at least 100 silos within next six months. It would help the government to buy at least five lakh tonnes of paddy in the next Aman season.
According to the Ministry sources, to construct a silo, it would need around Tk 7 crore. Each of the silos will have a drier machine, where the paddy of the farmers will be dried with its required moisture. A fanning machine will also be available there for cleaning the paddy. As a result, the authority will be able to buy its required paddy directly from the farmers.
The procurement of rice will also be continued along with paddy procurement process, the sources said.
At present, the government buys only 1.5 lakh tonnes of paddy from the farmers considering the required moisture and dryness of paddy.
However, the authority has already started process for buying five modernised auto-rice machines. In the meantime, it is also working to select places for installation of the rice mills. An auto rice mills will be established in the Haor areas. However, the places for its installation have not yet been selected.