Agriculture Minister Dr M Abdur Razzaque said on Friday there was no outcry over food in the country as it is now self-sufficient in food grain production.
“Due to the Russian-Ukrainian war, the supply of wheat has decreased in these countries. Thus, the price of wheat in Bangladesh has increased as elsewhere in the world. As the price of wheat rose, its demand shifted to rice. rice has also increased,” he said.
Razzaque, also a member of the Awami League Praesidium, was speaking at a post-budget press conference at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the capital.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni, Health Minister Zahid Maleque, State Minister for Finance Dr Shamsul Alam, Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir, Principal Secretary Finance Division Abdur Rouf Talukder, NBR Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem, Financial Institutions Division Secretary Sheikh Mohammad Salim Ullah, Planning Division Secretary Prodeep Ranjan Chakrabarty, ERD Secretary Fatima Yasmin were present at the conference of hurry.
In addition, ministers, ministers of state, secretaries and other senior officials from different ministries and divisions were also present.
On Thursday, the finance minister placed a draft budget of Tk 6,78,064 crore for the next financial year in Jatiya Sangsad forecasting a growth of 7.5% and containing an average inflation at 5.6%.
The Minister of Agriculture said that although the price of fine rice has increased, the price of coarse rice has not increased in the past two months.
Fine rice is sold at Tk 65-70 per kg, but coarse rice is sold at Tk 43-46 per kg, he said.
He said people’s tendency to consume fine rice has increased all over the country, including in rural areas, which means people’s ability to eat fine rice has also increased.
About 60-70% of people now live in villages in Bangladesh, he said.
Explaining how the government is extending its support to these 60-70% of people, he said the price per ton of potassium fertilizer used to be $300-$350, but has now risen to $1,200, a- he declared.
The government needs to provide fertilizer subsidies to a large extent as the government has provided about Taka 24,000 crore subsidy for fertilizers in the current financial year, he mentioned.
“People living in the villages directly benefit from this cooperation, so there is no possibility of creating a mismatch for this purpose,” he said.
If the government had not provided the subsidy, agricultural production would have declined while farmers would also have faced a different economic crisis, he said.
The minister said that as people’s incomes increase, their amount of consumption also increases.
“Those who could only manage one meal a day can now have two or three. We want to see that too,” he said.
As the food production is sufficient in the country, it will not face any food crisis, he said.
“Even if we cannot procure food from other countries due to the instability of the international market, the country will not face any food crisis. We have reached such a position,” he said. .
“Our scientists have also invented new rice varieties (BR-89) that will increase rice production by 50-60%,” he said.
“Every year, around 25,000 new faces are added to the total population of the country. The influx of Rohingyas has also added another 10 lakh. We are also feeding them,” he said.
After responding to the increased demand, it is proposed in the new budget that the government will provide rice to extremely low income people at Tk 15 per kg, he said.
As many as 50 lakh families means that 2.5 million people will be facilitated under the social safety net scheme, he said.
“To ensure nutrition for all, we are trying to increase consumption of fish, meat and milk by reducing reliance on rice consumption,” he said.
Per capita rice consumption has increased from 417 g per day to 370 g, which is a good sign, he said, adding that per capita rice consumption does not exceed 200 g in other countries in the world. world, including Japan.