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2019-05-19 14:42:10 BdST

Minister rules out raising paddy procurement prices

Agriculture minister Abdur Razzaque ruled out Saturday the possibility of raising the government's food grain procurement prices "at this moment" even as paddy prices fall at the growers' level.

Instead, the government is weighing other options for addressing the issue of falling paddy prices.

"There is a hardly any scope to increase the price of paddy at this moment through procurement by the government," he said.

The minister made the clarification against the backdrop of significant fall in paddy prices in recent times.

He was speaking as the chief guest at a seminar on "Climate Change: Challenges in Agriculture Sector" arranged by Bangladesh Climate Change Journalist Forum (BCJF) in the city.

The price of paddy plunged by 35 to 40 per cent last month, according to the Department of Agricultural Marketing and the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) data.Boro harvest began in the country's lowlands in April.

The minister, however, urged all concerned not to take the recent incident of setting fire on matured paddy field seriously. He said such types of protest happen in many countries.

Bangladesh is now self-reliant in foodgrain production, he added.

He said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is also worried about the declining prices of paddy across the country.

Since agriculture depends on nature, it is affected by climate change, he said, adding people from all walks of life have to work together to prevent the bad effect of a changing climate. The programme was chaired by BCJF president Kawsar Rahman.

PKSF chairman Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad was present as the special guest.

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