Bangladesh to buy rice from Myanmar


BANGLADESH will buy 100,000 tonnes of rice from Myanmar, putting aside a rift over the Rohingya refugee crisis as the government races to overcome a shortage of the staple food for the country’s more than 160 million people.

High rice prices pose a problem for the Dhaka government, which is ramping up efforts to replenish its depleted reserves after floods last year ravaged crops and sent prices to a record high.

Muslim-majority Bangladesh and mostly Buddhist Myanmar have been at odds over the more than one million Muslim Rohingya refugees in camps in southern Bangladesh.

The vast majority of them fled Myanmar in 2017 from a military-led crackdown that UN investigators said was executed with “genocidal intent” – assertions Myanmar denies.

Bangladesh will import white rice in a government-to-government deal at US$485 (RM1,960) a tonne, including cost, insurance and freight liner out basis, said Mosammat Nazmanara Khanum, the secretary at the country’s food ministry.“Our priority is to bring down the price of rice, ” Khanum said yesterday, adding the government could buy as much as 10 million tonnes while private traders are allowed to buy another 10 million tonnes in the year to June. — Reuters

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