Bangladesh has decided to import 200,000 tons of wheat from Russia as the recent floods damaged vast areas of crop fields raising fears of food shortage in the country.
The import will be carried out under a government to government (G2G) deal while the food grains will arrive in October, said officials.
According to the Food Ministry website, the government food silos have only 443,000 tons of wheat in stock as of September 4, 2017.
The Food Ministry made the proposal and was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase at a meeting on Thursday.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith chaired the meeting.
The committee’s members, senior secretaries of the Cabinet Division, secretaries to the ministries concerned and other senior officials attended the meeting.
After the meeting, Additional Secretary to the Cabinet Division Mostafizur Rahman said the government would spend Tk418.32 crore to import 200,000 tons of wheat from Russia at $252 (Tk20,664) per tonne.
Last month, a three-member Russian delegation met with the Food Ministry officials. The decision to import wheat was taken at the meeting, officials said. They said severe damage to the crop lands due to floods in northeast of Bangladesh had prompted the decision.
Meanwhile, the government failed to meet the rice and wheat procurement targets this year as the production was hampered. Rather, the flood affected people had to be supplied with food from the stocks.
To tackle the crisis, the government has decided to import 2.0m tons of food grains from different countries. Of the amount, 1.5m tons of rice and 500,000 tons of wheat will be imported.