Stating that there is a serious resentment among farmers for the low prices of paddy, Agriculture Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque on Thursday said the government has taken various steps to resolve the problem.
"There've been widespread discussions at the national level that the farmers did not get the due prices by selling paddy. A serious anger is there among farmers. It's a very important issue. It can't be accepted that people wouldn't be benefited and get fair prices by cultivating paddy," he said.
Replying to a supplementary question in parliament, the minister also said, "We want the farmers to get the fair prices of their produces. It's also the principle of the government. The Prime Minister is very kind to the farmers. She's helping them in many ways. We've taken various measures to ensure the due prices for farmers."
As part of the steps, he said, the government will procure maximum amount of paddy from marginalised farmers.
Razzaque said they are going to make the list of farmers in three categories—rich, middle-income and marginalised ones. "We'll procure 20 percent paddy from the rich framers while 30 percent from the middle-income ones and the rest from the marginalised ones."
He said the list of the farmers will be displayed at different upazilas and union parishads across the country, and the agriculture officers will inform farmers about it. "We hope the framers will get better prices than in the past following the steps."
Besides, the minister said, the government is working on formulating a paddy procurement policy which will be placed at the Cabinet soon.
Mentioning that the production cost of paddy got increased due to high labour wages, Razzaque said the government is going to provide the farmers with subsidy to procure expensive farming tools like harvesting machines.
"The government is now in a dilemma as the country used to face famine for lack of paddy production in the past while we're now facing problem to ensure fair prices due to the excessive production of paddy. We're confident that we'll able to overcome the problem."