Government to export fine rice, not coarse variety

Shafiqul Islam
Published : 07:00, Feb 19, 2020 | Updated : 07:00, Feb 19, 2020

A boy plays with bicycle tire while workers dry rice on a rice-processing mill in Muktarpur, on the outskirt of Dhaka, Bangladesh, December 29, 2016. REUTERSSince the government has attained self-sufficiency in rice production, a decision was taken to export coarse rice but thinking about the greater good of the country, the authority has moved away from that step, confirmed the ministries of food and commerce.
But the decision to export fine rice remains. A survey of the ministry of finance shows that rice export has been going on since 2010 and between 2011 and 2016, the production of rice was near about 35 million tonnes.
In 2017-18 fiscal, Bangladesh exceeded the rice production target and that year, 37.3 million tonnes of food crops were produced.
After ensuring the right price of rice for the farmers, the government took a decision to export 200,000 tonnes of rice which was withdrawn later.
Rice traders say that at this moment, the country has a huge rice reserve and new rice is also being preserved.
General secretary of the Bangladesh Auto Major Husking Mill, Laek Ali, said: “Farmers will see a profit if rice is exported; they will get the right price and be encouraged to produce more.”
A ministry source says that though a chance was given to export 200,000 tonnes of rice, from July to December 2019, the traders could export only one lakh ton because they are failing to compete with price at the international market.
Officials say that Vietnam can offer the rates asked by buyers and so export from Bangladesh was not encouraging.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi adds: “For strategic reasons, we have stopped exporting of coarse rice but exporting fine rice will continue.”