Bangladesh's Ministry of Food is set to make a deal with Myanmar to import one lakh ton of rice from them.
Paddy production was low during the last aman season due to four back-to-back floods. Traders took advantage of the situation by increasing the price. According to the Ministry of Food, several parties started importing rice in a bid to reduce market instability.
The thick variety of rice has been sold at Tk50 per kg, while the thinner rice sold at Tk60-66 per kg.
The government has allowed private entities to import up to one lakh tonnes of rice.
At the same time, the government failed to procure adequate rice and paddy from millers and farmers at fixed prices, due to high paddy prices during the aman season, resulting in a shortage in government reserves.
The government has also started gradually importing rice to increase stocks. The import of 1.5 lakh tons of rice from India has been finalized. The government is set to sign a Government-to-Government agreement to import 1 lakh ton of rice from Myanmar, which is expected to arrive in Bangladesh in April.
It is estimated that it will cost $485 to import per metric ton of rice.
Secretary of the Ministry of Food, Mst Najman Ara Khanam, said, rice is being imported at both public and private levels to stabilize the rice market. An agreement will be signed to import 1 lakh tonnes from Myanmar.
It is worth noting here that more than ten lakh Rohingyas fled to Bangladesh after the Myanmar army started its military operation in Rakhine on August 25, 2017. Although the Myanmar government gave in to international pressure to sign an agreement with the Bangladesh government at the end of 2017 to take them back, no Rohingyas have been repatriated yet.