Domestic organic manufacturers fear a loss of output capacity of aromatic rice by farmers if the government does not withdraw the export ban on such rice soon.
Sources said the Bangladesh Organic Product Manufacturers’ Association (BOMA) has recently requested commerce ministry to raise the ban.
Some 4.0 kilogram of normal rice could be imported against the export of one kilo of aromatic rice, the association observed.
The country will be able to earn foreign currencies through exporting aromatic rice. Even the domestic food security will also be strengthened, it cited.
The decision of banning export of fragrant rice by the government is suicidal According to the BOMA.
A good number of big and small farmers and companies are cultivating such rice here.
The association said aromatic rice producers are reluctant to grow scented rice in the country if they do not get fair price of their farm produce.
Earlier on June 30, commerce ministry imposed a ban on export of fragrant rice to control its price in the local market. The ban took effect in July 2022.
As per the move, the ministry cancelled the export permission it gave earlier in favour of 41 companies.
Last February, food ministry requested commerce ministry to impose a ban on the export of scented rice.
There are opportunities galore to export 25 types of aromatic rice subject to special approval by commerce ministry, as per the export policy.
Before the ban, the ministry allowed export of the item on a case-to-case basis.
Private firms, including Ispahani, Square and Pran, export an estimated 10,000-16,000 tonnes of packaged aromatic
rice to more than 135 countries every fiscal year. Besides, 4,500-10,000 tonnes are exported for expatriate Bangladeshis working and living in different countries.
Such rice goes to the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Brunei, Bhutan, Canada, Switzerland, the UK, France, Germany, Finland, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Japan, Lebanon, the Maldives, Nepal, New Zealand, Myanmar, Mauritius, Malaysia, Kuwait, Liberia and South Africa.
Bangladeshi Chinigura, Kalijeera, Kataribhog, Basmati (locally known as Banglamoti) and Nenia are in great demand in overseas markets.