Agriculture minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque
Agriculture minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque UNB

The rice mill owners, wholesalers, and middlemen are jointly involved in various schemes to make excessive profits, agriculture minister Md Abdur Razzaque alleged Sunday, reports UNB.

"The government is alert and we have a strict stance against such attempts," he said while laying the foundation stone of Ahmed Ali Memorial High School Flood Shelter at Dhanbari in Tangail.

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He said food production continued amid the COVID-19 pandemic and noted that the output was satisfactory in the last Boro season.

But frequent floods plagued the Aman season and the production might miss the targets, Razzaque said.

"For all these reasons, the mill owners, wholesalers, and middlemen are conspiring to make excessive profits," he said.

In this crisis moment, no food scarcity occurred in the country and the government has taken preparations in advance to avoid any future food crisis, the minister said.

"The government's goal is to ensure that no one suffers from hunger. There will be limited rice import if necessary," he added.

Meanwhile, this year's floods caused losses worth Tk 13.23 billion.

Approximately 257,000 hectares of paddy fields were inundated that affected 1,272,151 farmers in 37 districts, Razzaque said in August.

The minister also asked all officials of the ministry to be prepared for a possible second wave of coronavirus outbreak that is likely to hit the country in the upcoming winter.

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A meeting on agriculture production and the stock was held at the Gonobhaban last Thursday with prime minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

The meeting reviewed the country's food production during the flood situation, particularly in the coming Aman season.

It also discussed the implementation of 21 incentive packages declared by the government to face the losses due to COVID-19.