Home ›› 21 Dec 2021 ›› Front

‘Must write paddy name on rice sack’

Staff Correspondent
21 Dec 2021 00:00:00 | Update: 21 Dec 2021 01:10:08
‘Must write paddy name on rice sack’

The food ministry is formulating a policy making it mandatory to write the name of the paddy varieties on rice sacks, Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder said on Monday.

“Local traders sell different varieties of rice in the name of Miniket and Najirshaile but there is no Najirshaile or Miniket in Bangladesh. So, writing paddy’s name on rice sack is a must,” he said at a press conference at the secretariat.

He said the thin rice sold as Miniket is Jeera Saile and Shampa Katari. Minister Sadhan also urged people to eat red rice instead of white rice.

Food Secretary Mosammat Nazmanara Khanum said the BRRI-28 and BRRI-29 varieties of paddy and Najirshaile is being sold in the market in the name of Miniket.

In Bangladesh, 106 varieties of paddy are grown. Despite denial from the government, agriculturists and nutritionists, millers and traders continue to insist that Miniket is a genuine variety of rice and marketing it under the same brand name.

“We have recently conducted a research in this regard, and found there that the name of the rice that is being produced by polishing paddy is called Miniket. So, we are doing a pruning policy,” she also said.

Nazmanara said that generally, maximum 8 per cent of paddy can be pruned, but in the case of the so-called Miniket, the rate goes up as high as 30 per cent. “Although it does not pose health risks, it has nutritional risks,” she said.

On November 21, the High Court directed the authorities concerned to submit a list of all auto rice mills producing Miniket and Najirshail by polishing coarse rice.

It issued the order in response to a writ petition filed by The Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh. The HC bench also asked if health risks increased due to the consumption of the shredded rice, then why the inactiveness of the authorities concerned should not be declared illegal and why an order will not be given to stop such activities.

The bench also asked why the court should not issue an order to formulate a guideline to stop marketing such tampered rice in the country.

Bangladesh Rice Research Institute’s chief scientific officer Dr Khandaker Md Iftekharuddaula had told The Business Post that millers thin, sharpen, and polish various coarse rice varieties with sophisticated instruments.

He explained that when machines remove the outer layer, the rice loses protein, vitamins and zinc and is left with carbohydrates.

“There is no health benefit of Miniket rice,” said Iftekharuddaula.