The country has an extra stock of chickpeas, onions, red lentils, sugar and dates against the demand for the month of Ramadan, which will keep the supply situation normal, Department of Agricultural Marketing (DAM) Director-General Abdul Gaffar Khan said on Wednesday.
He called upon the businesses of consumer items at a meeting to sell these items at a reasonable rate and avoid making extra profit.
In a presentation, Abdul Gaffar said that the annual demand for sugar is 18 lakh tonnes in the country, of which 3 lakh tonnes are needed during the month of Ramadan. Locally, 40,000 tonnes have already been produced while another 19 lakh tonnes need to be imported.
Of the total imported amount, 4,88,000 tonnes of crude sugar have already been imported in the January-February period this year, up by 2,60,000 tonnes against the corresponding period last year.
Abdul Gaffar also said that the annual demand for red lentils is five lakh tonnes, of which 70,000 tonnes are needed during the month of Ramadan. 2,60,000 tonnes have already been produced locally. Annually 3,50,000 tonnes of red lentils are imported. Of the amount, 1,32,000 tonnes are already in stock, according to official data released at the end of February. This amount is 50,000 tonnes more than the same period last year.
About 80,000 tonnes of chickpeas are required during Ramadan. Bangladesh imported 1,78,000 tonnes of chickpeas during the July-January period this fiscal year, said Abdul Gaffar.
There is an annual demand for 25 lakh tonnes of onions in the country, of which 4,00,000-4,50,000 lakh tonnes are needed in Ramadan, said Abdul Gaffar.
The local production of onion is 35,04,000 tonnes. Besides, 4,27,000 tonnes of onion were imported till 10 March making the total stock higher than the demand, he added.
The DG also said that there were edible oil crises a few days back. Now there is sufficient stock in the shops as a result of the governments' measures.