Bangladesh is going to import 2 lakh tonnes of rice from neighbouring Myanmar in the face of a volatile domestic market.
The government in a meeting with a Myanmar delegation on Monday has reached a decision in this regard, according to food ministry sources.
Bangladesh will sign an agreement with Myanmar soon to import the food staple in September, they added.
Soaring prices of the staple grain for the country's 16.5 crore people pose a problem for the government, which plans to expand cut-price rice sales to help people hard-hit by high costs.
Amid a supply crunch to the local market, Bangladesh recently decided to import 30,000 tonnes of rice from Vietnam and 1 lakh tonnes from India.
Besides, the country is set to import 5 lakh tonnes of wheat from Russia.
Sources said all the aforementioned imports of rice and wheat will be under government-to-government (G2G) agreements.
The prices of rice started spiralling during the last Boro season in April. Coarse rice now hits Tk55-60 per kilogram in the local market, which was at Tk45 in the corresponding period last year.
State-owned trading corporation data show, coarse rice registered a 19% price hike in the last one year.
From 1 September, the government is set to start selling rice at Tk15 per kg. Some 5,010,509 families will get 30 kilograms of rice per month each.
Besides, the government will sell the food staple at Tk30 per kg under its Open Market Sales (OMS) programme. A total of 2,363 food dealers will sell rice at the subsidised rate across the country.
Currently, the government has 17.92 lakh tonnes of rice and 1.41 lakh tonnes of wheat in stock.
"We need to boost rice stock to run the food programmes across the country," Food Secretary Md Ismail Hossain told The Business Standard.