Bangladesh looking for rice import from Thailand, Myanmar, Pakista

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Dhaka, Jan 1 (UNI) Bangladesh would look for alternative sources like Thailand, Myanmar or Pakistan for importing rice as India had raised the price sharply.

''We are considering rice import from other countries like Thailand, Myanmar and Pakistan. We are also examining the quantum to meet the domestic demand,'' Food Advisor Tapan Chowdhury told newsmen.

He said the decision had already been taken to import 1,00,000 tons of rice from Thailand. Import of another 75,000 tons from that country was under active consideration.

India on December 27 jacked up the minimum export price of rice at 500 dollars per ton, third time in less than a year, from 315 dollars per ton in February last.

In November, India withdrew ban on rice export to Bangladesh in view of the difficulties caused by the devastating cyclone.

But later imposed a number of conditions and finally raised the minimum price to 500 dollars on December 27.

Mr Tapan said the government had taken a move to change the rice import policy to facilitate import from other countries.

He said India had promised to export 5,00,000 tons to Bangladesh.

''We hope they will sell to us at the earlier price,'' he added.

The Advisor said traders favour import from India because of low carrying cost. But they will now look for alternative sources.

Bangladesh faces food deficit as the November 15 cyclone ''Sidr'' caused heavy damage to standing paddy in the country's southern region.


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