No onion crisis next time, says minister

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Admitting that people suffered a lot due to the skyrocketing prices of onion, agriculture minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque on Thursday assured in parliament that there will be no such problem next time, reports UNB.

“This year onion was cultivated in more than targeted areas. So, the production of onion will cross 2.3-2.4 million metric tonnes…if there’s no natural disaster, there’ll be no problem next year (time) as measures have been taken in this regard,” he said.

The minister made the remark while replying to a supplementary question of Awami League member of parliament Ayeen Uddin (Rajshahi-3).

Razzaque said the import of onion will remain suspended during the harvesting season so that the farmers get the fair prices and feel encouraged to cultivate it on larger scale.

He said the farmers did not get fair prices of their onion during harvesting time so they have lost interest in cultivating the essential item.

The minister said the annual production of onion is 2.3-2.4 million tonnes against the total demand of 3.0-3.2 million metric tonnes. The deficit of onion is fulfilled with its import, he said.

Razzaque said resentment and worries have gripped the country’s people over the onion price hike. Now the onion prices have more or less turned stable in the market, he added.

The minister said the government lost control over the market of onion as huge onion got perished in the fields due to excessive rain last time in addition to India’s sudden export ban on it.

But, he said, India has recently withdrawn the suspension over its onion export.

In reply to a supplementary question from Jasod MP Shirin Akter (Feni-1), the agriculture minister said the prices of onion will in no way to be Tk 110 per kg.

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