Agriculture Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque on Tuesday said the rice market is now stable as the food grain is being imported.
“There were high prices of rice, onion and potato this year. The government has taken various steps to keep the market stable. To cut the price of rice, its import duty has been reduced to 25 percent resulting a stable rice market,” he said.
Razzaque was speaking at a national workshop on ‘presentation of research report on revealing reasons for price hike of rice, potato and onion in Bangladesh’ at Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) auditorium in the capital.
The inter-institutional research report-2020 on the availability and price volatility of rice, potato and onion was presented at the workshop organised by BARC, a ministry press release said.
Agriculture Secretary Md Mesbahul Islam, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Global Village (UGV) and Study Team Coordinator Prof Jahangir Alam and BARC Member Director Mosharraf Uddin Mollah, among others, spoke at the workshop with BARC Executive Chairman Sheikh Mohammad Bakhtiar in the chair.
Speaking as the chief guest, Razzaque said Aus and Amad rice production have been declined due to continuous floods.
On the other hand, he said, since the government did not able to achieve the target of rice procurement and there was insufficient storage in public godowns, the mill owners and wholesalers took advantage to this end.
Noting that now rice market is stable, the agriculture minister said, the government has taken steps to procure rice during the next boro season to fulfill the food storage aiming to prevent the future price hike of rice.
“The government food stocks will be increased by procuring rice so that the market could remain under its control,” he said.
Razzaque said if production of the food grains could not be increased, market will not remain stable.
Various measures have been taken to further increase the production of rice, potato and onion, he said, stressing the need for the cultivation of Bri-6 and Bina-18 varieties of paddy aiming to increase rice production in the country.
“And a roadmap has been formulated to achieve self-sufficiency in onion,” the agriculture minister said.