Paddy farmers in Sylhet region are in great trouble due to low market price of their hard-earn produce in the open market.
Boro production was good in the region but late starting the rice procurement drive by the Food Department was frustrating for the farmers.
Most of the paddy farmers had to sell their produce before starting the drive to repay loans and bear family expenditure.
Besides, when some farmers were expecting to sell their produce during the drive, they came to know that the target was poor.
A good number of growers said it was really frustrated that the government fixed a poor paddy procurement target.
Farmers also suffer due to the slow process of starting the drive, they added.
"Officials sometimes harass us claiming that the rice quality is poor", the growers further said.
However, an official of the Food Department denied all allegations.
He said, "We have to ensure quality and dry paddy for storage at the government depots."
As per decision, the Food Department is buying only 1.0 tonme paddy from a farmer with the target of procuring only 6,000 tonnes from Sunamganj, 3,000 tonnes from Habiganj, the official informed.
Sylhet and Moulvibazar districts were dropped from the government's procurement programme this time, he added.
Regional Controller of Food, Sylhet divisional office, Md Anisuzzaman said slow buying process was mainly for space shortage at the depots in Habiganj and Sunamganj.
The problem may be resolved in August, he added.
So far only 2,457 tonnes of paddy were purchased in Sunamganj while it is 493 tonnes in Habiganj, the official said on Sunday afternoon.
Per kg price of paddy is set at Tk 26. However, it would continue till the end of August.
Member-secretary of Krishak Raksha Sangram Parishad, Sunamganj Chitya Ranjan Talukder said although the production cost for 1.0 tonne paddy is Tk 900, the government buys at Tk 1,040, whereas it is sold at about Tk 800 in the local markets.
But, farmers do not get the scope to sell paddy at the government depots due to harassments. They are just denied by the officials at the depots, he alleged.
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