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Govt to allow import of onion soon

Restrictions were imposed on import of onion from India earlier taking the interest of farmers into consideration. However, the onion prices in the country’s markets are being monitored. The onion prices in the market are now skyrocketing. So, the government is likely to allow import of onion within the next several days, said Agriculture Minister Wahida Akter.

She disclosed it at a meeting held at the conference room of the Ministry of Agriculture at the secretariat early Sunday (May 14, 2023) afternoon.

The meeting was attended by Agriculture Ministry’s additional secretary Rabindra Shil Barua, Director General of the Department of Agricultural Extension Badal Chandra Biswas, Department of Agricultural Marketing, deputy secretary of the the ministry’s extension Munsur Alam Khan were present at the meeting.

The meeting was apprised that the production cost of each kilogram of onion in the country us Tk 28-30. Onion import was much higher in the last fiscal of 2021-22 as the import was made open. The market price of local varieties of onion was low — from Tk 30-35 per kg. Farmers received less prices for their produces. So, the Agriculture ministry has suspended onion import  this year to maintain farmers’ interest in cultivating onion.

Placing the data about onion production, demand and import, the Department of Agriculture Extension said production of onion in the country has increased more than 10 lakh tons during the last two years. This year the country witnessed the production of more than 34 lakh metric tons of onion.

On the other hand, there are 18.30 lakh metric tons of onion are in stock now. Some 30-35 per cent of onion is rotten every year due to lack of preservation facilities.

The annual demand of onion in Bangladesh is 26 to 28 lakh tons.