Reasonable grain production can tackle food shortage
When most of the countries across the globe are apprehensively passing days, fearing food shortage due to prolonged lockdown, Bangladesh is comparatively in a safer position. Once the ongoing Boro harvest is completed, the nation is unlikely to face cereal shortage in the next six months. Again, by the time the stock of Boro would be consumed, Aman should be ready for harvest unless any natural disaster takes place. Apparently, there is no possibility of food shortage in the country in upcoming days. We are thankful to the government for taking decisive strategic intensives to make Bangladesh self sufficient in grain production.
However, in this season, around 47.54 lakh hectares of land has been cultivated with Boro rice while the target is to produce 2.04 crore tonnes. Next comes Aus. Government has begun paying incentives for the coming season to Aus farmers, so that Bangladesh has not to depend on other country for importing food grains. In the upcoming season, the Aus production target has been set at 35 lakh tones.
However, the procurement of Boro and wheat has begun in the current season. The government started procuring paddy and wheat from April 26. The target is to procure 8 lakh tonnes of paddy and 11.5 lakh tonnes of milled rice in total. Altogether, the total food stock at government storehouses is satisfactory and overall stock after the procurement will ensure supply for at least six months. Moreover, after government procurement of rice, a large stock remains with the farmers and others in private sectors--which further strengthen supply.
Hopefully, with record production and harvesting of rice in every three months, we will remain sufficient in producing rice and hopefully famine or natural calamities this year will remainat bay.
Whatever, sufficient food-grain stock in public go downs provides ample security that the country will be better off in terms of food availability during the continuing war against the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is a matter of concern that there is always risk of price spiral and market manipulation. Now the main challenge to the government is to ensure a smooth and accountable supply chain, keep price stable and stop market manipulation. To ensure proper distribution and prevent anarchy in the market, government should monitor the market constantly. If not, whatever the food stock is--people will face difficulty and even may suffer from manmade disasters.