The government has started paddy procurement directly from domestic farmers at a rate of Tk27 per kilogramme.
Meanwhile, rice procurement will start from 7 May and will continue till 31 August.
Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder inaugurated the paddy collection drive virtually at the food directorate in the capital.
Earlier on 24 February, the government set a target to procure 6,50,000 tonnes of paddy for Tk27 per kg directly from the farmers during this Boro season. Some 11,00,000 tonnes of boiled rice for Tk40 per kg and 50,000 tonnes of sun-dried (Atop) rice for Tk39 per kg will also be collected.
In Thursday's meeting, Sadhan Chandra Majumder said that no one can stock rice without a licence. They will have to inform the food department regarding the amount of paddy they have procured and to which mill owner they have sold it. The food officials will have to send the information to the directorate regularly.
Illegal hoarders will be under strict surveillance, the minister added.
Although paddy procurement started Thursday, rice collection will begin from 7 May, said Sadhan Chandra. The mill owners must sign an agreement with the directorate by 16 May and this deadline will no way be extended, he added.
The minister also directed the officials not to make any hasty procurement at the end of the season.
Representatives from Tangail, Naogaon, Dinajpur, Sunamganj, Mymensingh, Brahmanbaria, Barisal, Jhenidah, senior officials of the district food office, public representatives, mill owners and farmers joined Thursday's virtual meeting.
The minister also instructed to remain watchful so that no farmers coming to the warehouse are harassed.