Syndicate’s paddy in government warehouse
Published: 07:26 PM, 23 May 2019
Farmers of Lalmonirhat do not get fair prices in the market despite a good yield of paddy in the Irri-Boro season. Officially rice procurement started but complaints of irregularities with the list of farmers were raised.
Those who are not involved in the farming of Irri-Boro cultivation and even not involved in agriculture are listed in this list. Instead of farmers, a syndicate giving paddy to the government procurement center through the money launderers.
This year, Lalmonirhat has set a target of procuring 1,493 metric tons of paddy at Tk 26 per kg, 10,731 metric tons of rice at Tk 36 per kg, and 345 metric tons of Atab rice at Tk 35 per kg. Paddy and rice collection activities will continue until August 31.
As the profit is high this year, a group of syndicate is stumbling. For their power, the farmers can't even go to the buying center. Even if someone goes to the procurement center, they are told that the purchase of all rice is complete.
On the other hand, there is a risk of price drop due to Rice Mill owners are not buying rice from farmers. Officially rice is purchased at Tk 36 and paddy at Tk 26 per kg, but farmers are being deprived of its benefits.
Farmers complain- the people of the identified middleman and syndicate of the district are stealing Agricultural Cards, National ID cards, pictures, and bank accounts from general farmers strategically.
In many cases, the farmers’ bank accounts are opened without knowledge from them those who do not have any bank accounts. The Upazila Agricultural Officer and in-charge of the food warehouse including UP chairman are cooperating the middlemen and syndicates by providing rice and paddy.
Five people from Hatibandha’s Singimari 5no UP ward member Ramjan Ali's family got the names in the farmer list. There is a person named Tapan Ghosh on that list, but Tapan Ghosh did not cultivate Irri-Boro even on 1 shatak land.
In this context, Singimari’s Assistant Agriculture Officer Dalim Kumar Sarkar said, “UP chairman has given the list of those people.”
But UP chairman Monwar Hossain Dulu said that he did not give any name to the farmer list. “Those are Listed by the people of the agricultural department.”
Rice trader Zakir Hossain and Abdul Karim said that Rice Mills are not buying the rice. Due to this, the price of rice has started a decrease in the market.
One Assistant Agriculture Officer said that the agriculture department is responsible for determining the amount of rice that a farmer can sell. “Farmer's list will be prepared for rice purchase. But some UP chairmen are making a list of his followers and handing them over to Assistant Agriculture Officers,” he said.
Meanwhile, the common farmers demanded that the Agriculture Department should make a list of genuine farmers and check the signature beside the name and ask the farmer to buy rice.
Lalmonirhat District Food Regulatory Officer Kazi Saifuddin said, “Rice are collecting under the agricultural cards given from the agricultural department. That’s why a farmer list has been created. The list was approved by the Upazila Purchasing Committee. Now the government is trying to buy rice from farmers very seriously.”
“No irregularities will be accepted while purchasing government rice. The UNO has been ordered to look after the matter of buying rice from farmers. Still, if anybody irregularities, action will be taken against him,” said Lalmonirhat DC Shafiul Arif.