Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has instructed his cabinet to seek alternative sources of food grain supplies as a precautionary measure before his departure for India to further cement bilateral relations.
During Sunday’s Cabinet meeting, the Prime Minister ordered officials not to depend on current food-supplying countries and to explore more markets to replenish food stocks as a precautionary measure, despite the country already being in a comfortable position in terms of food grain stocks, the Bangladesh BSS said. reports the news agency.
Currently, there is sufficient stock of food grains (rice and wheat) in the country, but agreements have already been made with different countries to import the amount of rice that will go from warehouses to people for sale on the free market (WHO) and food support activities.
The government of Bangladesh has already started selling rice at subsidized prices and plans to sell 7.65 lakh tons of rice to more than 1.5 crore people from low-income backgrounds in three months under the WHO and the Food Friendly program.
“Instead of depending on specific countries from where we collect food grains, the initiative should be taken to source from one or two additional locations as a precautionary measure so that we do not face any challenges if one source does not fails to supply it,” Hasina was quoted as saying by Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam during a briefing at the Bangladesh Secretariat after the meeting.
He said the Prime Minister had asked the authorities concerned to avoid any possible challenge in case one of the five countries designated for import was unable to supply food grains.
Currently, Bangladesh imports food grains from Russia, India, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand.
To cover depleted stocks, the government imports 5 lakh tons of wheat from Russia and 3.3 lakh tons of rice from Vietnam and India. It has already signed a memorandum of understanding with Myanmar to import an additional 2 lakh tons of rice.
Talking about the food grain situation, Khandker Anwarul said Bangladesh currently has more than 20 lakh metric tons of food grain in stock.
He further said that the price of rice has decreased by 4 to 5 taka as the pressure on people has decreased significantly thanks to the WHO and the implementation of food-friendly programs. “It gives good results,” he added.
(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)