The government has started buying Boro paddy from farmers, according to the direction given by the Ministry of Food.
On April 7, the Ministry of Food had set the target to buy 6 lakh tonnes of Boro paddy from farmers at Tk1,040 each maund.
But, the officials concerned said that Boro paddy harvesting, across the country, did not start except in the Haor areas.
So the number of farmers, who are selling paddy, is few, though the option of selling Boro paddy to the government opened on Sunday.
Md Moniruzzaman, additional director of Procurement Division, Directorate General of Food, said this while talking to The Business Standard.
He said that right now mostly primary works and meetings were taking places and other preparations for buying Boro paddy form farmers were already done.
"Usually every year, harvesting in haor areas like Sunamganj, Netrakona, Kishoreganj and Mymensingh take place a bit early. This year is no different," he said.
He predicted that massive paddy harvesting across the country would take place from first week of May and last until the first week of June.
The farmers will have to register to sell the paddy to the government. They can apply to sell their paddy once the registration is approved.
He claimed, "Due to the current circumstances, our field officers are going door to door for the farmers' registration."
Md Tahmidul Islam, additional secretary of Procurement and Supply Wing, Ministry of Food said, "Harvesting is yet to start in full momentum across the country, and farmers who already started harvesting they might be facing difficulties to dry paddy due to rain."
"But we are ready to buy paddy from farmers," he said.
Besides, Boro paddy will be collected digitally from 22 upazilas of 22 districts, through an app.
According to Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) data, until March 3, Boro farmers transplanted seedlings on 4.44 million hectares of land against 4.74 million hectares in the corresponding period last year.
Sources said that the target of Boro cultivation was 4.86 million hectares in the current fiscal year.
In line with Boro paddy, the government will buy over 11 lakh tonnes of rice from the internal market which will start on May 7, as per the food ministry sources.
Moreover, the government will also buy 10 lakh tonnes of boiled rice at a price of Tk36 per kilogram and 1.5 lakh tonnes of Atap chal (another rice variety) at a price of Tk35 per kilogram from millers.
Besides, rice will be procured directly from the farmers at a price of Tk26 per kilogram.