An official of the Bangladesh Tariff Commission (BTC) has urged the Indian government to create a formal trade mechanism between the two countries to help reduce seed costs and improve rice yield in Bangladesh.
The BTC official told local sources that Bangladesh imports about 350,000 tons of rice annually and the rice seed market in the country in 2011-12 was worth around $5.9 million and is growing. He added that rice seeds from India would be less expensive than importing rice seeds from China.
The official said, “Our priority is to ensure our farmers get the benefit of high-yielding varieties of rice. For this, we are open to developing a dedicated and focused trade channel with India as we expect it to be more cost effective than China.” He also urged India to improve both yield and affordability of rice seeds to penetrate the rice seed market in Bangladesh which is dominated by China at present.
Bangladesh is mostly self-sufficient in rice. It is the world’s fourth largest rice poducer, producing about 34 million tons of rice annually on about 11.7 million hectares of land. Bangladesh levies zero duty on import of rice seed.
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