Bangladesh looking for rice imports from Myanmar


Myanmar farmers collect harvested rice grains with a harvesting machine in a paddy field on the outskirts of Naypyitaw, Myanmar. Photo: Hein Htet/EPA

Bangladesh is looking to import rice from Myanmar to tide over an impending food crisis caused by devastation of croplands by floods.

A Bangladesh diplomat in Yangon told Mizzima that his country was looking at importing anything between 100,000 to 300,000 Metric tonnes of rice from Myanmar.

"Depending on what Myanmar is capable of selling us, we would like to expedite these imports," said Hasan Khaled Foisal, Commercial Counsellor of Bangladesh embassy in Yangon.

He told Mizzima that the recent devastating floods in Bangladesh, that has killed nearly 60 people in 13 districts, has caused huge damage to croplands.

"So our government is trying to build up sufficient reserves of food grains so that there is no crisis," Khaled Foisal said.

Earlier Bangladesh media had reported that the country's food minister had cleared a government-to-government deal with Vietnam.

The cabinet committee on public purchase, headed by the finance minister, cleared the import of 250,000 tonnes of rice at Tk 9.08 billion recently. 

Bangladesh will buy 50,000 tonnes of parboiled rice at $470 per tonne and another 200,000 tonnes of white rice at $430 per tonne, Cabinet Division's Additional Secretary Mostafizur Rahman said at a media briefing.

Vietnam’s state-run Vinafood 2 will supply 60 percent of shipments through Chittagong port and 40 percent through Mongla port.

Bangladesh last imported 250,000 tons of rice from Vietnam in fiscal 2011-12.

The stock in government warehouses until Apr 27 stood at 305,000 tonnes against 750,000 tonnes in the same month last year, according to data posted on the food ministry's website.

Bangladesh is desperately trying to import from multiple sources to tide over the crisis because the floods have devastated a huge area producing food grains.

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