Referring to a circular of the Indian government on export of wheat, Sadhan Chandra Majumder said, “The circular clearly states India halted the export of wheat at private sector not at government level. I think it will not create much trouble and India will have to sell the wheat already produced. The circular that was issued today may be revoked after 15 days or a month… So, I don’t think it is wise to make any comment beforehand.”
Claiming the country is almost self-sufficient in food, Sadan Majumdar said no rice had been imported for the last one year and the demand is being fulfilled with the rice produced in the country. Bangladesh needs to import wheat. Though the private sector mostly imports the wheat, the government brings the grain from Russia and Ukraine, he said adding, 300,000 tonnes of wheat have already been imported from India.
As to rise in price of edible oil, the minister said, “Price of soybean oil is Rs 210 a litre in India and the state of edible oil price in Bangladesh is in a better condition comparing to India.”
On paddy price fixed by government at Tk 27 a kg, Sadhan Chandra Majumder said they have no plan to increase the paddy price because rise in paddy price will increase rice price. Paddy price has been fixed so that farmers get a fair price and no syndicate can hoard the grain.
The minister said they have enough stock despite the damage of crops by flash floods in the haor area. “We expect more boro harvest and better yields of aush. It would not be right to think that Bangladesh will face food crisis.”
Sadhan Chandra Majumder said they are looking for a place to set up a modern silo in Sylhet in order to stock rice.