The government on Thursday launched the procurement of Aman paddy directly from farmers across the country, eight days after the scheduled date – November 20.
The agriculture ministry first prepares a list of farmers and sends it to the Directorate General of Food for purchasing paddy from them.
"We could not begin the procurement drive countrywide on the fixed date as the ministry failed to provide the list in time," said Director General of Food Dr Mosammat Nazmanara Khanum adding that the drive is yet to gain momentum.
Food ministry data said as much as 62 tonnes of Aman paddy has been procured this season till November 25. However, Aman harvesting is yet to gather momentum and only 15 percent of paddy has been harvested so far.
Dr Nazmanara also said they sent the farmers' lists to the UNOs (Upazila Nirbahi Officer) on Thursday.
The government will buy as much as 6 lakh tonnes of paddy, 3 lakh tonnes of parboiled rice and 50,000 tonnes of sunned rice at Tk26, Tk36 and Tk35 per kilogram respectively. This will be the highest purchase for the season in the last 24 years, according to the ministry data.
For the paddy procurement, the government has introduced a mobile phone app this season. Farmers at 16 districts will be able to sell their produces through the app. For this, they will have to get registered by December 7 and apply for selling paddy using the app.
Dr Nazmanara said, "Farmers can get registered with the help of their family members or relatives. Local agriculture officers have been instructed to help them in this regard if the farmers face any issue."
Farmers in Dhaka, Gazipur, Mymensingh, Jamalpur, Brahmanbaria, Cumilla, Barisal, Bhola, Naogaon, Bagura, Rangpur, Dinajpur, Jhenaidah, Jashore, Habiganj and Moulvibazar will get the mobile-based facility this season as the app has been launched on a pilot basis.