Dhaka, May 18 (UNB) – Jatiya Party acting Chairman and former commerce minister GM Quader on Saturday warned that exporting surplus rice may lead to food crisis in case of any natural disaster.
“Farmers aren’t getting fair prices as the government isn’t procuring paddy directly from them,” he told the media at party chief’s Banani political office.
Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque said on May 7 that the government was planning to export around 1 million tonnes of surplus Boro rice after meeting domestic demand.
Quader urged the government to reassess its decision, saying that it will not be able to import rice even at high cost during exigency.
“Exporting rice at this moment will be a very sensitive decision, no matter how much surplus the country has. We may have to pay a heavy price during any big disaster if we export rice now,” he added.
Referring to media reports, Quader said farmers are not interested in harvesting Boro paddy since they are not getting fair prices.
He said that the middlemen are getting benefited as the government is buying rice only from mill owners.
The former commerce minister suggested the government to procure paddy directly from farmers and take steps to preserve it in private silos.