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What is the financial condition of paddy-rice producers in Bangladesh?

Kazi Sanowar Uddin

According to a recent FAO research report, Bangladesh is the 4th largest producer of paddy-rice in the world. Bangladesh ranks after countries like China, India and Indonesia. All three countries are larger in size than Bangladesh. China, India is huge in size. Compared to them, the position of Bangladesh after them is not a common thing. The amount of land in Bangladesh is comparatively less. This land is declining every year due to various reasons including construction of houses. However, about 75% of all crops in Bangladesh produce paddy.

Although Bangladesh has a rich history of paddy-rice production, the situation of paddy-rice farmers is not good. In the distant past, the situation was much better, but now it is worse. Although there are not many reasons behind this, one reason has given production to all other reasons. The reason for this is the vicious cycle of market price of paddy and rice.

When paddy enters the farmer’s house, the price of paddy-rice goes down in the market. Farmers have to sell paddy at low prices. Many times its production cost is not saved at this price. The paddy farmer has no choice but to sell the paddy during the season. So he has to sell paddy at a lower price. Again, when there is no paddy in his house, the price of paddy-rice goes up in the market. Farmers have to buy at a higher price. As a result, the farmers have to face a two-way problem with the price of paddy and rice.

To solve this problem, in recent years, the Bangladesh government has fixed the price of paddy and rice in season and purchases paddy-rice directly from the farmers during the season. The number of farmers is more in this country as the amount of private land is less. So for easy management, farmers are selected through lottery and paddy-rice are purchased from them. Lucky farmers can see some profit by selling paddy and rice at the price fixed by the government. But the number of unfortunate farmers is much higher. Their condition is deplorable. The situation of paddy farmers in Bangladesh will never improve if the entire farmers are not brought under any acceptable system or structure.

Editor

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