The government may allow import of onion anytime soon, Agriculture Secretary Wahida Akhter said.
“The import of onion has been suspended considering the interest of farmers. This year onion production in the country has been more than 34 lakh tonnes. Additionally, there are 18.30 lakh tonnes of onions in stock. Although there is no reason behind increase in onion price this time, we are seeing a hike in onion prices in the market.”
“The Ministry of Agriculture is always monitoring the onion market. If prices continue to rise, onion import will be considered soon,” she added.
She made the remarks at a meeting held at the conference room of the Ministry of Agriculture at the Secretariat on Sunday afternoon.
In the meeting, the Department of Agricultural Extension presented information on the production, de-mand and import of onion.
According to the DAE statistics, onion production in the country has increased by more than one million tonnes in the last two years.
This year alone, more than 34 lakh tonnes of onion has been produced in the country.
But due to lack of proper storage or adverse environment, 30-35% of onions are wasted.
The demand for onion in the country is 26 to 28 lakh tonnes per year, according to information provided by the DAE.
At present, the production cost of one kg of local onion is Tk 28-30. In 2021-22, the market price of local onion was low (Tk 30-35) due to open imports.
As the farmers did not get a fair price the Ministry of Agriculture temporarily suspended the import of onion this year to encourage the farmers in onion cultivation, according to the DAE.
Agriculture Ministry Additional Secretary Rabindra Shree Barua, Director General of The Department of Agricultural Extension Badal Chandra Biswas, Director General of the Department of Agricultural Marketing Md Masud Karim and Deputy Secretary of the Extension Wing of the Ministry Munsur Alam Khan were present at the meeting.