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21st-May-2019

Save farmers, buy rice directly from them

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DESPITE prevailing agony and dissatisfaction among the farmers across the country over the low price of paddy than their cost, the government has no plan to compensate or complying farmers' demand to procure directly instead of mediators - the millers. In the last couple of days we see farmers are helpless but waiting to sell their toiled staples at the price much lower than the cost of growing the golden paddy. With the approach of Eid, farmers fear to suffer unbearable losses of paddy. We're surprised, how much money is needed to bloom smile on the farmers' faces!
News media reported that after investing money for ploughing land, planting saplings, irrigation, fertilization, pesticide, harvesting and transportation, a farmer usually spent Tk 15000 for growing rice in each bigha. According to a survey by the Department of Agriculture Marketing, production cost of Boro paddy is Tk 988 for one maund. It includes family labour, interest on working capital and cost of lease or rent of land. In Gazipur, the high yielding varieties BRRI 28 and BRRI 29 are selling at Tk 500 to Tk 580 per maund. The price varies Tk 100 to Tk 200 from district to district across the country. A maund of paddy was selling at about Tk 600 in early February, and the price further dropped to around Tk 500 after Boro harvesting started in late April. Farmers in different areas blamed millers for the fall in paddy prices as the millers are not purchasing since the harvests began, while millers said their warehouses are full of paddy and they have no money to procure as well.
Agriculture Minister has proposed for immediate export of rice to tackle crisis. Side by side, a vested quarter is trying to import rice. That means, it's clear  that government is not yet sure what's their job. Yesterday, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, captain of Bangladesh ODI Cricket Team and MP from Narail-2 Constituency ordered the Deputy Commissioner of Narail to buy paddy directly from farmers. We do congratulate his move.
We think, there is no way but to buy paddy directly from the farmers to save the rural economy.