Govt food grains stocks reach over 12 tonnes

Posted: ফেব্রুয়ারি 16, 2009 in Food security

The government food grains stocks reached 12.64 lakh tonnes, including 11.25 lakh tonnes of rice and 1.39 lakh tonnes of wheat, as of February 12, 2009, which is about 6.33 lakh tonnes higher than the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year (FY).

Observers say a satisfactory level of production and internal procurement may help the government develop sufficient food grain stocks, which will strengthen food security measures to fight probable crisis at any emergency moment.

The stock of food grains made over the first seven months of the previous FY stood at 6.31 lakh tonnes, including 4.16 lakh tonnes of rice and 2.14 lakh tonnes of wheat, according to statistics from the Department of Food. The data was presented before Food Minister Abdur Razzak at a meeting in Chittagong on Saturday.

Stock of food grains was 9.03 lakh tonnes at the beginning of FY 2008-2009, including 7.82 lakh tonnes of rice and 1.21 lakh tonnes of wheat, the data showed.

Bumper production of boro rice in FY 2007-2008 contributed to the satisfactory food stock, according to statistics presented by the Department of Agriculture (DoA) and the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS).

During FY 2007-2008, the country produced 177.62 lakh tonnes of boro rice, which was 27.97 lakh tonnes higher than the previous year.

It helped achieve a total production of 289.31 lakh tonnes of rice, 16.13 lakh tonnes more than the previous year. However, the targets for the production of Aush and Aman could not be met in FY2007-2008.

Aman production stood at 96.62 lakh tonnes against a target of 130.45 lakh tonnes, while Aush production stood at 15.06 lakh tonnes against a target of 22.15 lakh tonnes in the last FY.

The production and sufficient supply of grains into the local market significantly helped reduce imports, particularly that of rice. About 14.44 lakh tonnes food grains, including only 1.95 lakh tonnes of rice, was imported by both the government and private sector as of January 31, 2009, said sources from the Department of Food in Chittagong.

Imports in the corresponding period of the last FY amounted to 21.49 lakh tonnes.

Production targets for rice have been fixed at 333.32 lakh tonnes and 10 lakh tonnes for wheat this fiscal year, showed DoA and BBS statistics.

Encouraged by last year’s production, government subsidy on fertilisers and diesel price-cuts, about 4.43 lakh hectares of land has already been brought under wheat cultivation against a target of 4 lakh hectares. At the same time, boro has already been cultivated on 29.46 lakh hectares, comprising of 63 percent of the targeted 46.75 hectares in the last seven months.

As such, the downward trends in the prices of both rice and wheat continued. The retail market prices of rice stood at Tk 24.80 per kilogram and Tk 17.93 per kilogram for wheat in January 2009.

The rice was selling at Tk 26.29 a kg and wheat at Tk 21.20 in December 2008.

The daily star 17.02.2009





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