Allocation for food grain import to soar in next budget


Staff Reporter :
The budgetary allocation for the import of food grains, specifically rice and wheat, is set to increase by approximately 34 percent in the next fiscal year (2024-25), according to sources from the Finance Ministry.

This surge is attributed to a significant decline in global food production and the unusual devaluation of the local currency against the US dollar.

The Finance Ministry stated that this initiative aims to ensure the necessary funds for food security.

However, the allocation for domestic food procurement will see an 18 percent reduction in the upcoming budget.

In the new budget, Tk 6,696 crore is allocated for the import of rice and wheat, compared to Tk 4,990 crore in the current fiscal year. This represents an increase of Tk 1,706 crore.

Specifically, the government has set a target to import rice worth Tk 3,862 crore, up from Tk 2,592 crore in the current fiscal year. Additionally, Tk 2,834 crore is allocated for wheat imports, an increase from Tk 2,398 crore this fiscal year.

Conversely, the allocation for procuring food grains from local sources is set at Tk 7,441 crore for the next fiscal year, down from Tk 8,750 crore in the current budget.


Of this, Tk 36 crore is allocated for local wheat procurement, a significant decrease from Tk 350 crore in the current fiscal year.

Ministry officials clarified that the increased allocation for food grain imports does not necessarily mean an increase in actual imports.

Instead, the special allotment is a precautionary measure, allowing for flexibility to spend as needed for either internal or external procurement. For example, although there was a budget allocation for rice imports in the current fiscal year (2023-24), the government primarily sourced rice from the local market.

This preparation is in response to a 20 percent decrease in global food production and the associated risk of price increases. Additionally, the rising dollar exchange rate necessitates this increased allocation to ensure the ability to respond to market needs.

During the 2023 boro season, the government set a target to procure 4 lakh tonnes of paddy, 14.5 lakh tonnes of boiled rice, and 1 lakh tonnes of wheat domestically.

As per the Food Ministry’s website, the government currently holds a stock of 11,04,276 tonnes of food in its warehouses, comprising 7,49,769 tonnes of rice and 3,54,507 tonnes of paddy.