Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The Bangladesh government has planned to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to import rice from Myanmar through government to government process.
The decision was taken at a meeting between Food Minister of Bangladesh Qamrul Islam and Myanmar Ambassador in Dhaka Myo Myint Than at secretariat in the capital Dhaka on Sunday.
‘Myanmar is an important neighbour of our country and therefore we could expect more facilities from them,’ said the minister, according to an official statement.
During the meeting, they also discussed various issues related to the countries.
Apart from Myanmar, the government is also trying to buy rice from Thailand and India under the government-to-government (G2G) arrangement amid the soaring price of the staple, food ministry officials said.
The government recently signed a G2G deal to import rice from Vietnam.
The government latest moves come against the backdrop of higher rice prices in the domestic market and possible further depletion of the public food reserve.
The government had already a low food reserve — below 0.5 million tonnes — in June. Now, the volume has come down to 0.34 million tones, of which rice stock is only 0.154 tonnes, according to local media report.
Following this year’s crop loss owing to Haor flashfloods and fungal attacks (rice blast), the government struck three deals in May and June for importing 0.35 million tonnes of rice – 0.10 tonnes from two Dubai and Singapore-based suppliers and 0.25 tonnes from Vietnam under the G2G.
Early flashfloods this season completely washed away 1.0 million tonnes of rice in the northeastern areas of Bangladesh while fungal attack blast also caused losses of Boro crops in 19 districts, the officials said while explaining the latest food situation.
A prolonged flood in the northeast and northwestern regions is also being feared to have some bearings on the productions of this year’s two remaining rice crops — Aus and Aman, they added.