Even after eight days since the launch of the rice procurement program in Sunamganj Haor region, the process has yet to commence in eight upazilas, leading to farmers selling their rice at lower prices in the local market. The program was inaugurated virtually by Food Minister on May 7, but no official paddy purchases have been made since then. The government introduced an agricultural app this year for paddy procurement, but the selection process for farmers has not been completed, and farmers are showing less interest in applying through the app. The target is to buy 17,483 tonnes of paddy, while about 13.5 lakh tonnes of paddy has been harvested in the district this Boro season.
Although the target amount is relatively low compared to overall production, it ensures fair prices for marginal farmers in the Haor region. Some farmers find the mobile app application process inconvenient and prefer to sell rice at lower prices instead of dealing with it. Technical issues such as forgotten passwords or incorrect mobile numbers for registration also pose challenges. The farmers are eager to sell their paddy at a lower price due to the inconvenience of using the app. Despite the challenges, government officials are working to facilitate the paddy procurement process and expect to begin purchases from all upazilas soon through random selection via the mobile application.