A study on the rice procurement system to ensure food security in Bangladesh
AuthorArif, T.M. Shams
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The study on the Rice Procurement System and to Ensure Food Security in Bangladesh was conducted with a set of objectives: to examine and understand the current procurement system considering their relative costs and benefits; to assess the effectiveness of the current procurement system that the government to procure adequate supplies for its distribution needs; examine the food distribution systems of the government to achieving food security in Bangladesh; to find out ways and means that may help for achieving food security in Bangladesh. The current study also shows that public procurement as a form of price support for the producer. In an opinion poll among urban business and intellectual communities, about 94 percent of the respondents favored price supports to farmers (Rahman 1992). Another form of incentive is the reduction of price risk. Maintenance of an optima1 stock, given current distribution programs of the government, is a separate issue. That is why the estimates of procurement price are meant for the whole country-a pan territorial price for the procurement program. The cost of land rent has also been included in this cost estimate. The basis of cost is outlined in the resource allocation through their impact on the margin of change. The effectiveness of the procurement program in achieving its objectives at least cost depends very much on how the Food Department goes about it. After averaging 2.8 billion taka ($70 million) per year during the 1980's, losses in the PFDS exploded in 1990. In that year alone, total subsidies jumped to 11 billion taka ($280 million), an amount equal to 60 percent of the government's taka contribution to the Annual Development Plan. Although the drain has returned to its normal level of about 3.5 billion taka ($90 million), the concern of the government and donors to this high level of cost is quite intense. (IFPRI1991). Besides this so many factors are closely involved in this procurement system such as Location of xi Procurement, Mode of Purchase, Mill gate Purchase, Processing Capacity, Supply Time, Accounting Flaws, Advance Payment, Quality and Quantity Check, Packaging, Pricing, Quality Control etc are identified by this study. Again, Food security is a state where people do not live in hunger or fear of starvation. The sufficient production, distribution and availability of essential food items in Bangladesh have always been a cause for concern for successive governments, international donor organizations and socio-economic researchers. The current study shows that around 1999, food grain production in the country started to exceed the amount required. Food security is in a severe threat due to food inflation. One of the major challenges for the present government enroute to attaining food security is to maintain access to food at affordable price. The study also shows that, according to the final estimate of the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, the production of the first three cereal crops, Aus, Aman and wheat were 2.13, 12.79, 0.97 million mt respectively during the 2015-16 fiscal year. The Government and the private sector imported 20 times more rice during the 2015-16 fiscal year than the previous fiscal year. On the other hand, 75 percent of wheat was imported this year by private sector importers. The current study also denotes that the Government has expanded its social safety net programmes and started food distribution through its various Public Food Distribution System (PFDS) channels such as Open Market Sales (OMS), Fair Price Cards, Food For Work (FFW), Test Relief (TR), Essential Priorities (EP), Vulnerable Group Development (VGD) and Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF).