The government is going to procure 0.7 million tonnes of rice bran oil for sale through its trading arm Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), sources said.
To this effect, TCB has already signed necessary deals with the local rice bran oil producers directly.
The state-owned marketing agency is expected to sell the rice bran oil under its current fiscal year sale drive or it will include the item in its next sale drive.
TCB was supposed to sell the cooking oil last fiscal but the move was deferred due to purchase deals-related process.
Earlier, the commerce ministry decided to sell the oil variety under the TCB's sale drive so that the entity could operate its drive hassle free if any uncertainty arose over collection of soybean oil.
TCB sells essential commodities including sugar, edible oil, onion, lentils, and also gram and date during the holy month of Ramadan, at subsidised rates to keep the commodity market stable throughout the year.
Against the backdrop of unusual price spiral of edible oil in the country, the commerce ministry moved to devise strategies for ramping up rice bran oil production aiming to cut dependency on widely-consumed soybean and palm oil, a source said.
In a bid to check the uptrend in the edible oil prices, the commerce ministry imposed a ban on export of rice bran oil but the ban was withdrawn later for low demand of the oil in the domestic market.
The ministry issued a circular on June 29 last, removing the export ban and the producers are able to export the edible oil from July 01.
There are 17 rice bran oil mills in the country, according to the BRBOMA.
The mills have bran process capacity of over 1.63 million tonnes annually.
The country produces 0.343 million tonnes of crude rice bran oil annually, and it is possible to raise the production to 0.514 million tonnes, industry sources said.
At present, there is a negligible demand for rice bran oil in the local market.
Only 800 tonnes of refined rice bran oil enters the local market every month.
The ministry has removed the export bar for the sake of the industry and following request of the entrepreneurs, a source said.
The country fetched over US$ 175 million by exporting crude rice bran oil in the last 10 months of the fiscal year 2021-22.
Bangladesh annually imports 2.2-2.6 million tonnes of edible oils, including 0.7-0.8 million tonnes of soybean oil and 1.4-1.6 million tonnes of palm oil.
More than 95 per cent of the local demand for edible oils is met through import.
The prices of edible oils have increased across the globe due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February.
BRBOMA General Secretary Prokash Dutta earlier said it would be possible for them to meet 10 per cent of the total local demand for edible oils, if the government provides necessary supports to them.
Neighboring India is the major importer of Bangladeshi crude rice bran oil, he added.
Rice bran oil is extracted from rice bran, the outer layer of the rice grain.
It is commonly used as edible oil in many Asian countries, including Japan, India, and China.