Floods have washed away crops in Bangladesh that would have yielded nearly 400,000 tonnes of rice, according to estimates from the agriculture ministry.
This could be a major blow to the South Asian country, which has historically relied on imports to cope with shortages caused by natural disasters such as floods or drought.
The nation’s farmers, though, have recently been struggling to secure fair prices for their produce amid a surplus of the grain, with no overseas deals in sight since the country lifted an export ban in May to support the market.
The flooding triggered by heavy monsoon rains has killed at least 108 people and affected more than 6 million people in Bangladesh and damaged other crops, mostly in the northern region.
“This is a huge loss for the farmers,” said Mir Nurul Alam, director general of the Department of Agricultural Extension.
“But I don’t think this will have much impact on the overall rice stocks,” he said, given the nation’s ample reserves.
Bangladesh’s weather bureau, meanwhile, has forecast another spell of floods could hit the low-lying country of more than 160 million people this month.