Bangladesh government raised the price it will pay to farmers for the upcoming season’s rice to 34 taka ($0.42) a kilogram, up from 32 taka a year ago. The government will buy 1.5 Million Metric Tonnes (MMT) of rice and paddy from local farmers starting from May 2, up from 1.3 MMT in the previous season, a senior food ministry official said. Such procurement is crucial for the South Asian nation to feed its poor and keep domestic prices stable.
Bangladesh is the world’s fourth-largest producer of rice, which is the main staple for the it’s 160 million people. Bangladesh consumes almost all of its production to feed its population, but often needs imports to cope with shortages caused by natural disasters such as floods or drought. A spike in rice prices in the domestic market caused Bangladesh’s annual inflation rate to accelerate in February for the second consecutive month. The government buys rice and wheat from local farmers to ensure a stable support price, build stocks for state welfare programmes and to meet emergency needs. Bangladesh aims to produce more than 34 million tonnes of rice in the current year, up from nearly 33.5 million tonnes in the previous year.