In the kitchen markets of Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, vegetable prices have surged following late autumn rains that have damaged crops. Most vegetables have seen price increases ranging from Tk 20 to Tk 40 per kilogram, now selling between Tk 80 and Tk 120 per kilogram as of Friday.
Traders and wholesalers at Karwan Bazar, Dhaka’s primary vegetable supply hub, noted that early varieties of winter vegetables have entered the market. However, heavy rain has led to extensive damage in vegetable fields in Dhaka and its neighboring regions, including Narsingdi, Gazipur, Naraynganj, Tangail, Bogra, Jashore, and Kushtia, which are major suppliers to the capital.
Sukkur Ali, a wholesale trader at Karwan Bazar, highlighted a notable decrease in the number of vegetable-loaded trucks arriving at his store, from the usual 6 to 7 down to 3 to 4. This supply shortage has driven up both wholesale and retail vegetable prices.
The situation has left middle and lower-class families feeling the impact, as vendors explain that insufficient vegetables have reached the market, contributing to the relatively high prices. However, there is optimism that as winter progresses, prices may begin to ease.
For example, eggplants were being sold at Tk 120 per kilogram, brinjal (long) at Tk 90 to Tk 100 per kilogram, and green chili at Tk 220 to Tk 250 per kilogram, with variations based on quality. The price range extended to various other vegetables, including beans, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, bitter gourd, okra, cucumber, sponge gourd, arum, radish, green papaya, French beans, snake gourd, and more.
The report also highlighted price fluctuations in items such as onions, garlic, ginger, and lentils, in addition to other food staples like sugar, molasses, and flattened rice. The article further touched upon the prices of rice varieties, flour, and cooking oil.
Furthermore, the fish market experienced price increases of Tk 40 to Tk 80 per kilogram due to government regulations prohibiting Hilsha fishing. Various fish types were mentioned, each with its price range.
Meat prices were also featured, with beef at Tk 780 to Tk 800 per kilogram and mutton at Tk 1,150 to Tk 1,180 per kilogram. Poultry prices, including boiler chickens and eggs, were highlighted.
TCB Approved to Procure 1.10cr Litres of Edible Oil, 10,000 Metric Tons of Lentils
The Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase (CCGP) has given approval for the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) to procure 1.10 crore litres of edible oil and 10,000 metric tons of lentils. The TCB will conduct these purchases as part of its open market sale (OMS) program.
In a meeting presided over by Finance Minister Abul Hasan Mahmood Ali on February 29, the CCGP approved two separate proposals presented by the commerce ministry on behalf of TCB.
According to the proposals, the TCB will import 1.10 crore litres of soybean oil through an open tender from City Edible Oil Ltd. The total cost of this procurement is Tk174.66 crore, with each litre priced at Tk165.25.
Additionally, the TCB will acquire 8,000 metric tons of lentils from Nabi Naba Food Limited, costing Tk83.12 crore, with each kilogram priced at Tk103.09.
Rice Varieties and Prices Must Now be Printed on Bags, says Ministry of Food
The Ministry of Food has issued a directive mandating the inclusion of selling prices of rice at mill gates and the specific rice varieties on bags. The move aims to curb potential price hikes and enhance transparency in the rice market. According to the announcement on Wednesday (21 February), rice-producing millers must display essential details such as mill name, district and upazila name, production date, mill gate price, and rice variety on bags before supplying for commercial purposes.
The ministry’s decision follows observations in various rice-producing districts, revealing the sale of rice from the same paddy type under different names and prices. The notice highlights the blame game among millers, wholesalers, and retailers during sudden price fluctuations, causing inconvenience for consumers in obtaining desired rice varieties at fair prices and leading to financial strain.
To enforce these guidelines, the ministry emphasizes that information on rice bags should not be handwritten with ink. Instead, rice-producing mill owners must ensure that all sacks/packets bear printed details as specified. Corporate bodies are also required to adhere to these guidelines, with the option to include maximum retail prices in addition to mill gate prices.
District administrators, upazila executive officers, and food controllers are instructed to confirm compliance during inspections. Any violation of these guidelines may result in necessary actions as per the provisions outlined in the “Production, Storage, Transfer, Transportation, Supply, Distribution and Marketing of Food Products (Prevention of Prejudicial Activity) Act, 2023.”
Govt Initiatives Drive Lentil Cultivation, Targeting High Yields
Around 54,101 tonnes of lentils are expected to be produced from 35,380 hectares of land in the division during the current Rabi season, officials said.
The Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) has set a production target of 32,411 tonnes of lentils from 20,620 hectares of land in four districts of its Rajshahi Agricultural Zone and 21,690 tonnes from 14,755 hectares of land in four other districts of the Bogura Zone.
DAE’s Additional Director Shamsul Wadud stated that all possible measures were taken to achieve the production target, providing farmers with newly developed high-yielding varieties of lentils. Small and marginalized farmers received seed and fertilizer support for lentil cultivation free of cost under the government’s agriculture incentive program.
Abul Kalam Azad, a farmer in Godagari Upazila, mentioned that he cultivates lentils to avoid irrigation water-related hassles for paddy. He cultivated lentils on six bighas of land this year without incurring extra irrigation costs. Farmers in the region find lentil cultivation appealing due to lower irrigation expenses and have witnessed abundant production in recent years.
Zakir Hossain, another farmer, highlighted that growers are increasingly interested in lentil cultivation due to its lower irrigation cost and consistently high yields in recent years. Sub-Assistant Agriculture Officer Atanu Sarker noted that farmers have achieved better yields in cash crops due to the promotion of high-yielding varieties and modern management practices.
Efforts from government and non-government entities are encouraging farmers to cultivate water-saving crops like lentils in the Barind area to alleviate the growing pressure on underground water resources. Over 1,500 volunteers are engaged in promoting water resource management for less water-consuming crops as part of the Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) Project.
Farmers’ interest in lentil cultivation has grown as they have experienced lucrative market prices for the crop in recent years. IWRM Project Coordinator Jahangir Alam Khan explained that farmers in high Barind areas, facing high irrigation costs for paddy farming, find lentil cultivation appealing due to its lower irrigation requirements.
Dr. Jagadish Chandra Barman, Principal Scientific Officer at the Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute, emphasized the potential for significant lentil output in the Barind region. Cultivating lentils on around 80,000 hectares of fallow land after the harvest of transplanted Aman paddy could substantially contribute to reducing the country’s reliance on lentil imports.
The article concludes by highlighting the bright prospects of increasing lentil acreage, producing larger quantities with lower production costs, and reducing the pressure on lentil imports to meet domestic demand.
- Digital Media Workshop in PR Department Observed
- PM Sheikh Hasina Stresses Government’s Support for Armed Forces Preparedness
- Bangladesh’s Reserves Surge by 37 Crore Dollars
- Multiple Arrests Made in Bailey Road Fire Case After 46 Tragically Killed
- Weekly US Stock Market Report Shows Diverse Performance
- Weekly European Stocks Shows Mixed Result
- South Asian Stock reports varied performance on the Outgoing Week
- Index Dips yet Turnover, Market Cap Shows Upward Trend on Weekly DSE Reports
- TCB Approved to Procure 1.10cr Litres of Edible Oil, 10,000 Metric Tons of Lentils
- Bus Operators Struggle as Dhaka Metro Gains Popularity
- Turnover Surges Amidst Negative Indices
- Dhaka Tops Global Air Quality List
- PM Sheikh Hasina Optimistic About Stable Ramadan Prices for Essential Goods
- US Advocates for Palestinian Access to Al-Aqsa
- IEBA, WEC Sign MoU to Drive Ethnosport Growth in Bangladesh