He added that the government should not hurry in deciding about rice exports
Jatiya Party (JaPa) acting chairman GM Quader has said exporting rice may cause food scarcity in Bangladesh.
He said this at an emergency press conference at the JaPa chairman's office, in Dhaka's Banani, on Saturday.
The government should not hurry in taking a decision to export rice at this moment, he opined.
GM Quader said: "Farmers are frustrated because the production cost of paddy is more than the market value. In these circumstances, the government has to buy paddy directly from the farmers instead of millers."
In his written statement, he said: “When a maund of coarse rice is being sold at Tk500-550, a mound of fine rice is priced at Tk1,600 to Tk2,000.
"Farmers are claiming that they have become captive in the hands of middlemen, adding that the government purchases rice from millers, depriving the growers of fair price.”
JaPa acting chief urged the government to make uses of private warehouses for stocking paddy if it suffers from space constraint in public granaries.
"If necessary, the government should use the services of private storage facilities for emergencies," he said.
In response to a question from a journalist GM Quader said: “Government can import rice if necessary but in the world market, rice may not be available at the time of need.
According to farmers it costs around Tk700 to Tk800 to produce a maund of paddy, but they have had to sell the paddy at Tk400.
Party presidium member Moshiur Rahman Ranga was present at the press conference among others.
Previously, on Friday, the Bangladesh Krishak Samity demanded they be allowed to charge profitable prices for paddy.
They also demanded the government open procurement centres—at the union level—to buy paddy directly from farmers.
"The government must procure paddy directly from farmers; through the establishment of government purchase centres at the union level. They also must reduce the prices of agricultural imports," said SM Sabur, president of the Krishak Samity on Friday.
The platform threatened to intensify protests on May 23 if the demands of the farmers' organization are not met.