As the Aman procurement drive is yet to start in full swing, many farmers have been selling their produces at a Bogura market at a loss of Tk100 per maund.
While talking to this correspondent at Ronbagha Haat in Bogura, farmers said they were selling different varieties of Aman paddy at Tk650-Tk700 per maund while they sold the same at Tk750-Tk850 at the beginning of November.
A small number of buyers thronged the wholesale paddy market on Friday.
The government on Thursday launched the procurement of Aman paddy directly from farmers across the country, eight days after the scheduled date – November 20.
In the current Aman season, the government will buy as much as six lakh tonnes of paddy, three 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.
The paddy market which sits twice a week – Friday and Monday – usually sees sales of 20,000 maunds.
Buyers and sellers from Chapainawabganj, Rangpur, Jashore, Kushtia, Ishwardi of Pabna, Natore, Naogaon and Sherpur of Bogura come to the market.
Mintu Rahman, who came from Natore's Singra upazila, told The Business Standard that he harvested 290 maunds of paddy from 17 bighas of land. He spent Tk1.19 lakh for the paddy cultivation after taking the lease of the land at Tk1.20 lakh.
"I have to count loss of Tk85,000 if I sell my produce at the present prices," Mintu added.
Shamsul Islam, a farmer of Bogura's Nandigram upazila, said two weeks ago he sold 100 maunds of paddy at Tk750 per maund. As the prices decreased, he was forced to take back the remaining 300 maunds home.
He also said he brought his produce at the haat as he had got fair price last week.
Many farmers were forced to sell their paddy at lower prices as they have no storage facility for their produces. They also have to repay the loans taken from individual lenders during the cultivation season, Shamsul Islam added.
Rice millers in Bogura told The Business Standard prices of paddy will increase once the government procurement drive starts in full swing.
Mizanur Rahman, managing director of Maya Monir Auto Rice Mill in Nandigram, said many rice millers like him are yet to get the government allocation for procuring paddy from farmers.
When asked, Bogura District Food Controller SM Saiful Islam said the procurement drive will get momentum within next 10 days.
"We hoped that prices of paddy and rice will increase once the government starts the purchase," he added.