Rice farmers, traders and experts in Bangladesh have expressed concern that rice (including aromatic) imports from India are continuing to increase, although imposition of 10% duty is there on rice imports since May this year. The prices would be significantly have an impact on the Aus (February – August) and Aman (July – December) seasons according to the sources. Thus, rice traders are urging the government to increase the import duty on rice to stop falling of prices .
Further, it was told that prices of aromatic rice may also be impacted due to a huge influx of basmati rice from India. Bangladesh farmers also grow fragrant rice in Aman and Aus seasons. It has been observed that basmati rice is grown in India during the same time and a large quantity of rice comes in Bangladesh illegally. The illegal imports of rice are nearly 10 times more than the formal import.
Bangladesh Food Ministry quoted that traders imported around 23,000 tons of rice through formal channels since the beginning of this fiscal year in July. However, local sources say that another 300,000 tons would have entered illegally into the country. Bangladesh imported around 1.49 million tons in the FY 2014-15 (July – June).
According to sources, farmers and traders narrated that they have already suffered huge losses during the Boro (January – May) harvest season due to increased imports from India.