Thursday, 28 Sep, 2023


Onion imports halted: Farmers happy, not consumers

Goutam Ghosh, Senior Correspondent |
Update: 2023-03-16 19:21:34
Onion imports halted: Farmers happy, not consumers

Onion prices shot up in Bangladesh after the government stopped issuing import permits (IP) for the popular cooking ingredient on Thursday (March 16) in a bid to protect the interest of local growers.

Ramadan is imminent and there is a halt in Indian onion imports through the Hili land port in Dinajpur, leading to an expected increase in onion prices. 

According to information, farmers are happy with this decision, but consumers are uncomfortable ahead of Ramadan. 

However, many think that due to this, the local onion market may become shaky ahead of Ramadan. Already, the price of onion has risen by Tk 3 to 4 per kg due to the ban on onion import.

On Thursday, after observing several markets including Shyambazar, Raisaheb Bazar, Sutrapur, Dhupkhola Math Bazar in the capital, local onion is being sold at Tk 32 to Tk 35 per kg, which was Tk 30 per kg a day ago, and dried local onion cost is Tk 28 to Tk 30 per kg, which was sold at Tk 26 to Tk 28 a kg.

Amin Hossain, an onion farmer of Jessore, said: "Due to the import of Indian onions, we are often unable to meet the cost of production. After a few days, we will take new onions to house. We are happy that the government has stopped onion imports now. The price is also reasonable in the market."

Salim Reza and Shahid Uddin, onion importers of Hili land port, said that if the import permit is stopped, the price of onion may increase during Ramadan.

Agriculture Secretary Wahida Akhter in this regard said onion import has been stopped today. As now is the full season of onions. If onions are imported, farmers will not get the fair price. 

"We have come to know that onions are being sold at a very low price and farmers are incurring a loss. So the import will remain stop temporarily," she added.

The price of onion that increases in the market is little due to the stop of import, but it is consistent with the farmer's production cost. Nothing extra has happened yet, she said, adding "We want farmers to get a fair price for their production. Otherwise, farmers will lose their interest in harvesting."

BDST: 1921 HRS, MAR 16, 2023

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