The Ashuganj rice market on the banks of the Meghna, one of the largest in the northeastern part of the country, is frequented by buyers and sellers on a daily basis. Besides, the farmers in the rural areas have been relieved to get a fair price of paddy in the current season. However, paddy traders and mill owners have expressed frustration over the difference between the purchase price of paddy and the selling price of rice in the market. However, the food department says that it will be possible to achieve the target of procurement of paddy and rice in time.
It is learned that a large quantity of paddy arrives at the Ashuganj Paddy Market in Brahmanbaria every day from Kishoreganj, Jamalpur, Netrokona, Habiganj, Moulvibazar, Sylhet, Sunamganj and other parts of the country. In this way, the market became stronger from the dawn of crows calling every day. At present, BR-28 paddy, also known as Chikon paddy, is being sold at Rs 1,200 to Rs 1,300, BR-29 paddy at Rs 1,300 to Rs 1,400 and coarse Eri paddy at Rs 1,120 to Rs 1,150. Marginal farmers are benefiting by getting fair price of paddy in the current season.
Abul Qasim, a farmer from Brahmanbaria Sadar Upazila, said that earlier the price of paddy was a little lower but this year the price is a little better. If we increase the price of paddy, we will produce more paddy in future.
Another farmer, Dulal Mia, said dried paddy was being sold at Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,100. If this price exists then the life of the farmers will be saved. And if the price of paddy goes down, the farmers will suffer a lot. He said that the Kamalas do not make much profit with money. So we want the price to be the same all the time.
Meanwhile, by buying paddy at high prices from rural farmers, traders are not able to come to the paddy market and sell paddy to the mill owners at a fair price. On the other hand, the mill owners say that they are facing losses in producing rice from paddy due to high price of paddy.
Eden Mia, a trader who brought paddy to the market, said, “I am buying BR-29 paddy at a price of Tk 1,300.” Now it has to be sold in the market at the price of one thousand 220 rupees. He complained that the government increased it by 20 to 50 rupees and then suddenly reduced it. We have bought paddy in the hope that the market price of paddy will increase. But when I come to the market, I don’t get much price. The amount of paddy that I have been buying and selling so far has been a loss everywhere. And farmers do not sell paddy at low prices when it comes to Mokame.
Another trader named Ismail Uddin said, “I am buying BR-29 paddy at a price of Tk 1,420.” It has to be sold here at a price of one thousand 360 rupees. There is a loss of 50 rupees per quintal. We are also suffering a lot. Every year we have to pay business losses like this. Even so, owning one is still beyond the reach of the average person.
Mill owner Joynal said the price of paddy was increasing. There is no profit from rice. So the mill has been closed from 18 annas to 12 annas. The rest has somehow survived. The way we are buying paddy, we are not keeping pace with the price of paddy and rice. The price of rice goes down a lot when rice is made and sold. Those of us who are Miller are nowhere to be found. The price of old paddy is high. If it had been limited we could have run the mill.
Another mill owner named Abu Bakkar said that the cost of BR29 rice is Rs 2,400 but it cannot be sold for more than Rs 2,280. The loss is 100 to 150 rupees per quintal. The mill owners are doing business with a lot of money loan from the bank. If there is a loss then it will not be possible to give a bank loan. In order to boost the rice market, rice imports from India and abroad must be stopped.
In this regard, Brahmanbaria District Food Controller Subirnath Chowdhury said that this year, 2,634 metric tons of paddy will be procured at the rate of Tk. In the same way 14 thousand 420 metric tons of rice will be collected at the rate of 40 rupees. The purchase campaign is currently underway. The campaign will continue till February 28. Hopefully in the meantime it will be possible to achieve the target.
In the last aman season, 246,000 metric tons of paddy was produced from 51,489 hectares of cultivated land in Brahmanbaria region. Out of which 1 lakh 36 thousand 508 metric tons of rice production target has been set by the Department of Agriculture.