Bangladesh is still recovering from the flood that hit its population. Thousands of homeless and destitute people have struggled to deal with extreme flooding. Among other parts, Bangladesh’s northeast was hit by flash floods this May, followed by the monsoon in June and July which brought erratic and excessive rainfall. Such was the severity that an unprecedented 970 millimeters (38 inches) of rain was recorded in a day, as per the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). As a part of emergency response, the government of Bangladesh has provided relief along with other aids that included housing materials.
The Impact Of Floods On Bangladesh
Among other things, the deleterious floods not only did hit the economy but also affected crop production and yields, mainly rice. With respect to Bangladesh, rice is not just a staple meal for millions of Bangladeshis but it also has a cultural and political significance. In Bangladesh, rice is planted throughout the year, and they are dissected in three major categories viz.’Boro’, ‘Amon’ and ‘Aush’. Boro crop is planted in July and is harvested in May, while Amon is planted in July and harvested in Dec and Aush is planted in April and is harvested in July. Given the timing of flood, the Boro crop was hit majorly as the rains ruined the harvest.
All this forced Bangladesh, to look for alternatives to supplement its paddy needs despite being the fourth largest producer of rice in the world.
Bangladesh’s Response To Meet Domestic Rice Needs
The state grain buyers from Bangladesh have issued an international tender for the purchase of 500,000 tonnes of rice. The interested sellers can submit their price offers before the 6th of September and the price offers should include quotes for non-basmati Parboiled rice in CIF liner out terms along with ship-unloading costs, for shipment to the ports of Chattogram and Mongla. Through this, Bangladesh is expecting price offers from different regions of the world. These shipments should reach the ports of Bangladesh within a span of 40 days after the contract is signed. The seller is required to follow the norms of CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight) which is an international shipping agreement used when freight is shipped via sea or waterway. Under CIF, the seller is responsible for covering the costs of insurance, and freight of the buyer and the shipment while it is in transit.
Given the situation, Bangladesh is in, It is very likely to accept offers from India. The reasons being- the current price offered by Indian rice sellers is considerably low as compared to other competitors. Additionally, Bangladesh has imported rice from India in the past in large quantities. According to the All India Rice Exporters in India and Association, in 2020-21, Bangladesh imported 4,91,000 tonnes of rice from India. In 2021-22 alone, this amount increased to 9,14,000 tonnes. These sales are usually done via government-to-government deals or via private players. In the past, shipments have taken place majorly through sea routes or at times, with the help of railways as well.