Tuesday, 30 May, 2023

Decision on onion import in 2-3 days to end crisis

Agriculture Minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque on Sunday stated that a decision about the import of onions will be made after assessing the market situation over the next two or three days.   

The statement came as prices of the staple vegetable showed a slight decrease.

"The price of onion should not be Tk 80 per kg. We are prioritizing the interests of our local farmers at the policy level," Dr. Razzaque told reporters at his office in the Secretariat in the capital.

The burden of the high prices has been mainly felt by the middle and limited-income population, he acknowledged.

The Minister noted a decrease in onion prices by Tk 300 to Tk 400 per mound (40 kg) the previous day. "If we continue to see signs of decline, we will reassess the situation in another day or two," he said.

Dr. Razzaque revealed that field level information suggests an ample supply of onions in the country. "So why isn’t the price going down? It's not supposed to happen. If the price cannot be kept tolerable then we have to resort to imports.”

“But the price will never be Tk 80 per kg. We are trying to bring this syndicate or those who are controlling it under control."

Given the lower onion prices in India, the Minister suggested importing from the neighbouring country to alleviate the market and make onions more affordable for the common people.         He informed that this year's onion production has fallen short by 2 lakh tonnes than the target. Onion prices reached Tk 80 per kg in just one month, nearly doubling and escalating consumer concerns.

According to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), onion prices fluctuate between Tk 70 and Tk 80 per kg in various markets across the country.