Bangladeshi Govt increases duty on rice import

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Dhaka: The government has increased the duty on import of four kinds of rice. Earlier on Monday, Parliamentary Standing Committee asked Food Ministry to locally procure more paddy than the targeted amount and stop import of rice.

The committee had also recommended export of rice even with subsidy. Over the past three weeks, a bountiful harvest has been overshadowed by the grief, and travesty of rice farmers throughout Bangladesh.

Protests have erupted in villages, towns, districts, and in Dhaka as well. In some areas, a standout form of protest has been to set a rice field on fire in order to send a very clear message: selling at current prices is the worst option.

Farmers are demanding purchases be made directly from farms, and that crops be sold at a fair price.

Currently, paddy is sold wholesale at Tk450 to 500 for every maund (1 maund=40kg). Many farmers have said the cost of harvesting each maund of paddy is between Tk1,000 toTk1,500. Other reports say that farmers will suffer a loss of at least Tk300/maund if they sell paddy at current market price.  DhakaTribune