The Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council announced the study that confirmed that rice farming turned to be not profitable for the Bangladeshi peasantry. The real prices of rice declined by about 2%–3%. It also said that the costs of production are increasing each year by 3% since 2009. The profits of farmers decreased by 8% annually since 2009.
On the other hand, millers made profits, including from rice. The study also showed the effect of regulating price for the basic staple food, but not the market mechanisms, such as the demand and supply. The report was prepared with the involvement of organizations of agriculture, food, planning and commerce and Bangladesh Agricultural University.
The Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) under the Ministry of Agriculture that led the study informed that farmers were forced to sell 77 % of their crops in the first two months of the seasons of Boro rice in 2019-2020. BRRI proposed to increase the domestic procurement of rice to 2.5-million tonnes. Meanwhile, government stock of the staple in a month should be not less than 1.25-million tonnes. This intervention can ensure equilibrium in the market.
Other researchers said paddy and rice markets are dominated by big producers.
Bangladesh should build public storage facilities to change the living conditions of farmers and contain market volatility. An official loan shall be given to poor farmers at harvest time so they can get time to preserve their products for a better deal. Bangladesh is the third-largest rice producer in the world with a production of over 36 million tonnes.
Rice cultivation is becoming loss-making business for Bangladesh farmers
22 February 2021