A wholesaler sales onion in Dhaka
A wholesaler sales onion in DhakaUNB

The government on Tuesday said the prices of onion will fall further once the imported bulb fully hits the market and assured consumers that there is an “adequate stock” of the local variety, reports news agency UNB.

“Onions imported at public and private levels have started reaching the country ... The import and supply of onion have increased. There’s no shortage,” a commerce ministry handout said.

It also said local farmers have also increased their sales in the market.

The Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) is selling onion on trucks and online. The sale at Tk 30 per kg has been increased to meet the demand.

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Bangladesh’s annual demand for the popular kitchen item ranges between 2.2 and 2.5 million tonnes. Commerce ministry figures show the amount imported was just around 0.4 million tonnes in FY09, but had touched up to 1.1 million tonnes in recent years.

Drives conducted by the National Consumers Rights Protection Directorate under the commerce ministry and the local administrations have been strengthened while the tariff on onion import has been withdrawn

State minister for foreign affairs Shahriar Alam said the monthly requirement of onion in the country is around 200,000 tonnes.

India’s abrupt ban on onion export last month pushed up the prices in the local market. Alam said the country has a stock of around 560,000 tonnes of onion and import of another 11,000 tonnes is under process.

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India slapped a similar ban last year which sent the prices skyrocketed in Bangladesh. From that experience, the government has taken necessary steps to keep the stock, supply and price of onion at a reasonable level.

Drives conducted by the National Consumers Rights Protection Directorate under the commerce ministry and the local administrations have been strengthened while the tariff on onion import has been withdrawn.

The government is providing all-out support to the importers while importance has been given to supplying and transporting onion to the local market.

Onion is currently being imported from different countries and the ministry says there is no reason to panic. It also warned of taking legal actions against those involved in hoarding or creating artificial crises of onion.