Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi on Thursday said the government is eyeing to earn self-sufficiency in onion production to slash dependency on foreign countries for the essential commodity. The government is planning to ban import of the edible bulbs with pungent taste during the harvesting season so that the country’s grassroots level farmers get fair price and get inspired to cultivate and produce more onion, the minister further said.
The minister said this while talking to journalists at the inaugural session of Leather Tech Expo 2019 in the capital. “India has stopped onion export putting us in problem. To overcome such scarcity our onion production should be increased. At present, our daily consumption of this essential commodity is 6000 tonnes’ he said.
In response to a question regarding why the onion price was going up again, the minister said, “We can import onion from Myanmar but they cannot supply more than 600 tonnes a day, which is not enough for us. Besides, landing charge for per thousand kilogram of onion has increased to Tk 70 from Tk 40 which is a big reason behind the going up of onion price.”
“Now we are importing onion from Egypt in a large amount. We are eyeing to import 60,000 tonnes of onion from there and 10,000 tonnes is on the way to Bangladesh,” Tipu Munshi added. Regarding onion export ban of India the minister said as the one-month ban is almost ended, and the neighboring country will harvest new onion soon, so there is much possibility that they will remove the ban in a short time and Bangladesh can export onion from there soon.
“We have achieved self-sufficiency in rice and potato production. We will also have to achieve self-sufficiency in onion production, and for this, there is no alternative to increasing the production of it,” the minister said.