Indo-Bangladesh Bilateral rice deal being finalized

A bilateral rice deal involving the shipping of 150,000 tonnes of rice from India’s Haldia port to Bangladesh is currently being finalized

December 25, 2020

The export price is competitive in comparison to the deals offered by other rice-producing countries.

The deal will promote food security and help Bangladesh recover from the impact of frequent flooding.

The Bangladeshi agricultural sector is supported by ancillary post-harvest sectors.

220,000 hectares of agricultural land were ravaged by floods in 2017 in Bangladesh.

India and Bangladesh are to embark on a new chapter of bilateral relations through a cooperation in food security. The development partners are in the process of finalising a rice deal that will facilitate the supply of 150,000 tonnes of rice from India’s Haldia port to Bangladesh. Media sources report that the negotiated export price is competitive in comparison to deals offered by other nations. 

A 2017 report of the Food and Agriculture Organisation affiliated with the United Nations recorded that the prices of rice in retail markets rose by 30% in Bangladesh by September. This, in turn impaired the access of vulnerable sections of the community to the nation’s staple produce. The report also recorded that 220,000 hectares of land traditionally used to cultivate paddy were ravaged by the April 2017 floods. The bilateral initiative will help the nation recover from the impact of the frequent flooding that has taken place in the recent past.

With regard to the value chains affiliated with the rice markets in both nations, experts at the Asian Development Bank observe a tangible shift towards from the primary stage to the intermediate stage wherein direct sales between farmers and buyers were facilitated. The agricultural sector in Bangladesh is also bolstered by ancillary sectors including milling as farmers exhibit an increasing preference for direct to consumer sales. Government initiatives on strengthening the post-harvest supply chain can provide an added boost to the agriculture sector in Bangladesh. 

India’s development partnership with Bangladesh has evolved with a vibrant focus on the energy sector, waterways, healthcare, logistics and transportation and cultural collaboration. Oxfam India documents that India had extended economic support for the implementation of development projects with US$ 100mn allocated in 2011-2012 and US$ 369.7mn from 1972-73. The Haldibari-Chilahati railway line is a landmark project to emerge from the partnership. The bilateral cooperation between the two countries can expect to be elevated through significant development initiatives taken up in the spirit of amity.