The report also said the prices of rice and wheat have broken all past records due to low domestic production and the Russia-Ukraine war.

Earlier this month, in its report on the global grain situation, the US Department of Agriculture also hinted that the rice production in Bangladesh could fall due to the flood. Production of Aus crop of over 56,000 hectares has incurred loss due to the flood in the north-eastern and northern Bangladesh.

We have helped the farmers with seeds of Aman crop and other agriculture equipment. Hopefully the yield will be better and we could get over the loss in Aus crop
Abdur Razzaque, agriculture minister

The US state organisation thinks Bangladesh would be able to import 7 million tonnes of wheat against its demand of 7.5 million tonnes this year. And, the country could import 2.2 million tonnes of maize against the demand of 2.5 million tonnes, it added.

Speaking to Prothom Alo about this, agriculture minister Abdur Razzaque said, “We have helped the farmers with seeds of Aman crop and other agriculture equipment. Hopefully the yield will be better and we could get over the loss in Aus crop.”

According to the USDA report, the rice production in FY 2022-23 will come down to 35.65 million tonnes from 36.85 million tonnes in FY 2021-22. Aus production saw a huge deficit in the season. The yield was 2.05 million tonnes against the projected target of 2.7 million tonnes. However, the Boro and Aman crops likely to see more yield than the targeted amount.

M Asaduzzaman, former research director and economist at Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS), told Prothom Alo, “Actually, the production will decrease more than the projection of USDA. A drought-like situation has already appeared in many parts of the country. Now the government should campaign across the country to use less water for production and boost up the stock through import.”

According to the USDA report, price of coarse rice per kg in June was Tk 52 and fine rice Tk 75, which are 14 and 13 per cent higher respectively than June 2021. Though the government has given approval to import of 910,000 tonnes of rice, soaring price of dollar and rice price in the global market might dissuade the traders from importing the amount.

* The report, originally published in the print edition of Prothom Alo, has been rewritten by Shameem Reza

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