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In an effort to keep the supply and price of onion normal in the country, state-owned Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) is expected to start selling it soon at a fair price.

A task force committee of the commerce ministry took the decision at a meeting, said a ministry handout issued on 7 September.

Bangladesh saw a record hike in onion prices after India banned its export on 29 September last year.

Onion, a popular item in Bangladeshi kitchens, witnessed a 557.8 per cent year-on-year rise, TCB said. The record jump was made in only two months after the Indian export ban.

According to TCB data, the price of local onion increased by 542.86 percent while that of imported one by 572.73 in November last year compared to the corresponding period of the last year.

A market analysis showed that the price hike, which stemmed from the ban India slapped on the export, is higher than the TCB estimation.

According to the Commerce Ministry, the annual demand for onion in Bangladesh ranges between 2.2 and 2.5 million tonnes. Although the country’s own annual production has risen, so has the amount imported over the last decade.

Commerce ministry figures show the amount imported was hardly 0.4 million tons in FY09, but had touched up to 1.1 million tons in recent years.

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