Bangladesh's Army Chief General Moeen U. Ahmed is encouraging people to eat more potatoes in an attempt to reduce dependency on rice and to ease the impact of surging rice prices on the population.
General Ahmed said Thursday that Bangladeshi troops have already been ordered to eat more potatoes because they are cheaper and more abundant than rice.
He said that eating potatoes will help lower demand for rice while meeting nutritional needs. But he made it clear that potatoes can only be a supplement to rice -- a staple food that feeds half the world's population.
General Ahmed made the comments at the opening of a week-long potato feast organized by the Radisson Water Garden Hotel in the capital, Dhaka.
Bangladesh faces a shortage of rice due to severe floods and cyclone Sidr last year.
The cost of rice has doubled in the past year due to rising demand, drought in some producing areas, and efforts by some major producers to restrict exports to ensure sufficient supplies for domestic consumption.