Like every year, the government has started buying paddy/rice during this season. The price of paddy has been fixed at Tk. 30 per kg and the price of rice has been fixed at Tk. 44 per kg. The Ministry of Food has issued 19 instructions for the official purchase of paddy, rice, and wheat during the Boro collection season. Last Wednesday (May 17, 2023), the ministry issued a circular with these instructions to the concerned.
It is said that upazila-wise divisions have been sent to the field level to collect 4 lakh tons of paddy, 1.25 lakh tons of boiled rice, and 1 lakh tons of wheat. The following guidelines are given for the successful collection of paddy, rice, and wheat during the inner Boro collection season:
1. In the case of paddy and wheat collection, the meeting of the district and upazila collection and monitoring committee should be completed immediately. Paddy collection should be started and finished quickly by lottery in upazilas outside the farmer's app. The upazila of the farmer's app should complete the registration quickly and collect the rice quickly by selecting the farmers by lottery in the system.
2. The message of paddy and wheat collection should be widely disseminated through miking, distribution of leaflets, and local cable TV showing in schools.
3. He prepared a district, upazila, and warehouse-wise roadmap to complete 60 percent of rice collection by June 30, 80 percent by July, and 100 percent by August (preparation of date, quantity, time-wise schedule) as the allocation is less than the fortnightly cutting capacity of mills during the ongoing rice harvesting season. The collection should be completed accordingly.
4. Agreement with millers to procure rice by May 18. Immediately after the contract, the contract amount in favor of the millers should be published on the web portal of the respective districts with a copy given to the authority concerned issuing the rice allotment.
5. Action will be taken under the Essential Food-grains Procurement, Management and Control Order, 2012, and the Internal Food-grains Procurement Policy, 2017 against those mill owners who are not contractual or who do not supply any rice under the contract.
6. Matches that were contactable in the last Amon collection, 2022-23 season, but not contracted, will be out of contract for the current (2023) Boro season.
7. Paddy, rice, and wheat collection activities should be implemented and accelerated simultaneously.
8. If any legal action is taken against the mill owners who fail to supply rice at the field level, a copy of the same should be forwarded to the Procurement and Supply Division, Ministry of Food.
9. As per Internal Food-grains Procurement Policy, 2017 for procurement of paddy, rice, and wheat, Boro paddy and rice produced in 2023 must be ensured. Otherwise, strict administrative action will be taken against those concerned.
10. In the case of husking millers, the contracted rice has to be sorted and collected.
11. Farmer-friendly environment should be ensured in the food warehouse. It should be ensured that the farmer is not harassed in any way.
12. If space is not available in the warehouse, the District Food Controller, Regional Food Controller, Director General, and Directorate of Food shall issue the movement schedule in accordance with the rules in their respective jurisdictions in order to create space as per the Movement Schedule Formulation Policy, 2008.
13. In case of a shortage of empty sacks at any center, the supply of sacks should be ensured in coordination with the authorities of respective jurisdictions.
14. Ensure that every sack of collected rice is stenciled as per the latest instructions.
15. The concerned officers in charge, storage and movement officers, managers, and district food control controllers will always be most active and alert to expedite the collection.
16. From the beginning of domestic procurement, each Khamal of rice and wheat should be made up of 130-135 tones and 85-90 tones in the case of paddy. In this case, the farms should be maintained regularly and spray activities should be carried out as per routine.
17. It should be ensured that the information on the collection of paddy, rice, and wheat from all regional food control offices is sent by e-mail to the collection department of the food department by 5 pm every day.
18. Nationally, on May 7, the collection of paddy, rice, and wheat in 8 sections across the country was inaugurated simultaneously, and locally, the collection process cannot be delayed in any way on the pretext of any formalities.
19. According to the instructions of the Ministry of Food's memorandum No. 71 of 2 May and 73 of May 3, zinc-rich paddy and rice must be collected. Separate Khamals should be formed for collected zinc-rich paddy and rice.
It is not possible to buy food grains individually from every farmer in the country through the government food grain procurement program. Farmers who are not selected in the lottery are forced to sell paddy/rice at low prices to Mill Owners, Mahazon, Wholesalers, etc. Whose are always looking for business opportunities.
For example, a bumper crop of new hybrids and new varieties of paddy has been produced in Chandpur this season. Farmers are happy with it. However, they are worried about the fair price of the produced paddy.
A farmer said, 'We have had a good harvest. We are very happy. The government has fixed the price of paddy at 1 thousand 200 Taka. But we are selling paddy at Tk 800 to Tk 900. Expressing the fear of not getting a fair price, another farmer said, "The prices of all types of products including fertilizers and pesticides are high. We are not getting the price of paddy according to our production cost.
Meanwhile, to make the country self-sufficient in agriculture, government incentives and the use of modern machinery are being encouraged, said the Department of Agriculture. -Editor