The government has, so far, procured around 64,394.36 tonnes of Boro rice during the current season contributing a lot towards food security amidst the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
As part of its ongoing rice procurement drive commenced since May 7 last, the government has bought the food grain from all eight districts in Rajshahi division despite the adverse impact of the pandemic situation.
Faruque Hossain Patwary, Regional Controller of Food, said they have by now procured around 63,701 tonnes of boiled rice and 693.15 tonnes of non-boiled sunned (Atap) rice.
In addition to the rice procurement, the government has also purchased 12,318.64 tonnes of Boro paddy during the same period till Thursday.
Patwary said procurement drive of the newly harvested rice is going on in full swing everywhere in the division.
“We’re procuring boiled rice at Taka 40 per kilogram and non-boiled sunned rice at Taka 39 per kilogram, while paddy at Taka 27 per kilogram,” he said, detailing aspects of the procurement drive.
He said the government has set a target of procuring 2,23,644 tonnes of boiled rice and 14,530 tonnes of non-boiled sunned rice, while 1,07,344 tonnes of paddy in the division during the current season until August 16.
Contracts have been signed with 4,556 millers for collecting 2,18,865.98 tonnes of boiled rice, while 99 mills for collecting 10,874.05 tonnes of non-boiled sunned rice.
The enlisted millers have been supplying rice as per terms and conditions of the contract.
“We’ve also procured 26,341.45 tonnes of the wheat in the division till Thursday last,” the regional food controller said, adding that wheat has been being purchased at Taka 28 per kilogram since April 1.
The government has set a target to procure 38,522 tonnes of the newly harvested wheat in the division during the current season until June 30.
Meanwhile, boro cultivation has exceeded the target, bringing 6,783 hectares more land under this farming.
Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) had set the target of producing 35.24 lakh tonnes of paddy from 8.10 lakh hectares of land in all eight districts of the division during the current season.
But the farmers have brought 8.17 lakh hectares of land generating scopes of additional rice production, officials said.
Currently, farmers are now very much pleased with the present lucrative market price for the latest harvested Boro paddy in the entire region including its vast Barind tract. The current selling price rate was over expectation to the farmers.
“I’ve completed harvesting and threshing of my paddy of two bighas of lands a couple of weeks back,” said farmer Ahammed Hossain of Krishnapur village in Tanore upazila.
He has got 21 maunds of paddy from each bigha of land even after paying the labourers 20-kilograms of paddy for each 100 kgs of paddy for harvesting and threshing purposes.
Hossain is very much hopeful about earning a good profit by selling paddy as its price in the market is also satisfactory.
He said the newly harvested paddy is being sold at Taka 1,030 to 1,055 per maund in the local markets.
Talking to BSS, Hossain said prolonged drought and absence of rainfall increased the cost of irrigation but the pest infestation in the paddy was less due to drought that is why the production was good this year.
Brridhan-28 is being sold at Taka 1,020 to Taka 1,050 per mound while Ziradhan at Taka 1,150 to Taka 1,170 at present, said Atanu Sarker, sub assistant agriculture officer, while giving an overview of the present paddy marketing situation.
Muhammad Moniruzzaman, a farmer of Bijoynagar village under Godagari upazila, is now happy with satisfactory production of paddy. He has harvested 20 to 22 maunds of paddy from a bigha of land.