After being stable for a long time, there is sudden instability in the country’s rice market. Even though there is enough stock, the price of rice in the wholesale market of the country has increased by 2 to 7 rupees per kg in a span of two weeks. The traders are alleging that the rice mill owners have manipulated and increased the prices on various pretexts. Experts suggest increasing government surveillance to control prices.
The price of rice has suddenly started to increase. The price of coarse and fine rice has increased by Tk 2 to Tk 7 per kg in the main wholesale rice markets of the country, including in the capital. Miniket rice is being sold at 67 taka in the caravan market of Dhaka. 51, Nazirshail 71 and coarse rice 46 per kg are being sold. However, the price is slightly different in other rice markets of the country.
Traders complain that rice market is unstable due to the manipulation of mill owners. On various pretexts, the price of a 50 kg bag has increased from Tk 250 to Tk 400. This increases the price of rice in the wholesale and retail markets. However, the mill owners claim that the increase in the price of rice has affected the rice market.
In Khajanagar, Kushtia, one of the main rice destinations of the country, the price of rice has increased by Tk 2 to Tk 3 per kg per milgate in the last two weeks, but it has increased to Tk 4 per kg in the retail market.
When asked about the reason for the sudden increase in the price of rice, Zainal Abedin, general secretary of the Kushtia District Rice Mill Owners’ Association, said, ‘It is very normal that the price of rice has increased by Tk 2 to Tk 3 per kg due to the increase in the price of rice in the last one month.’
Dinajpur is known as one of the rice producing areas. The rice market there is unstable now. In Dinajpur, the price of rice has increased by Tk 100 to Tk 150 every week in the wholesale market. And in the retail market, all types of rice have increased by Tk 3 to Tk 4 per kg. Miniket is now selling at Tk 65 per kg, 29 varieties of rice at Tk 55, earlier 28 varieties of rice at Tk 60, Gutiswarna at Tk 47, Sumon Swarna at Tk 52, Katari at Tk 100 and Cumin Katari at Tk 130.
Dinajpur District Rice Mill Malik Group President said about the reason for the price increase. Mosaddek Hossain said, ‘Middlers and lazy money owners have destabilized the paddy and rice market. Apart from this, the cultivation of coarse rice paddy in Dinajpur is decreasing day by day. As a result, there is a shortage of coarse rice. As a result, the price of coarse rice is increasing.
However, Dinajpur District Food Controller blamed the non-achievement of rice collection target behind the price increase. Kamal Hossain. He said, ‘Dinajpur’s Aman rice collection target has been achieved, only rice collection target has not been achieved. The prices of paddy and rice increased during the elections. Monitoring has been strengthened to control it.’
The same situation was seen in Naogaon, which is known as a district famous for paddy and rice production. District Small Rice Traders Association General Secretary Uttam Kumar Sarkar said that the price of rice in Naogaon has increased by Tk 3 to Tk 4 per kg. Swarna is being sold at Tk 52, Katari Tk 68, Jira (miniket) at Tk 66 per kg.
Naogaon District Rice Mill Owner Group General Secretary Farhad Hossain Chakdar said, “Due to farmers reducing the import of paddy in the market, the price of both coarse and thin paddy has increased by Tk 200 to Tk 250.”
Meanwhile, agricultural economists believe that there is a lack of adequate surveillance in the government to prevent the sudden increase in the price of rice in the country’s market. For this, they urge to increase the market supervision quickly.
Agricultural economist Dr. Abdulahil Baki said, ‘The very profitable businessmen of the rice market were restrained for a few days. Now they are active again. To stop them, quick action must be taken. Otherwise the market situation may take a turn for the worse.’
The anti-hoarding law has already been passed to intensify the campaign against illegal hoarding of rice and paddy in the market. Analysts urged to formulate rules quickly and implement them at the field level.
Meanwhile, the mobile court of the district administration conducted an operation to monitor the rice market situation in Chittagong on Monday. Omar Farooq, the executive magistrate of the district administration there, said that the price of rice has suddenly started increasing in the last few days. They have come to the field to find the reason for the price increase of Tk 200-300 per bag in Chittagong market. Initially, there was no news of any major manipulation in Chittagong. However, they have come to know that there is manipulation in the mills or locations from which the rice is supplied here. He also said that the higher authorities will be informed in this regard.