Ginger and garlic
Staff Correspondent: Traders claim that the demand for ginger has increased five times and garlic three times in the last decade. On the contrary, ginger production has stopped at almost one place. Although the production of garlic has increased slightly, it is less than the demand. This increases the import dependence of ginger-garlic. Import costs are increasing due to the dollar crisis. Additional money is also going from the consumer’s pocket. The government has taken a project to increase the production of vegetable products. If it is effective, production may increase slightly.
According to the latest data of the Tariff Commission, the country has an annual demand of 300,000 tons of ginger and 600,000 tons of garlic. This account is somewhat old.
According to traders, the demand of ginger in the country is 450,000 tons and the demand of garlic is about 900,000 tons, which is five and three times higher than a decade ago respectively.
According to statistics bureau, ginger production in the country has stopped from 2013-14 financial year to 2021-22 financial year. During this decade, the production of only 80,000 tons of the spice is doing a little bit here and there. In the fiscal year 2013-14, the country produced 77 thousand tons of ginger, which reached a maximum of 84 thousand tons in 2019-20. In 2021-22, it decreased again to 82 thousand tons.
The same is the case with garlic. In the fiscal year 2013-14, three and a half lakh tons of garlic was produced in the country. After a decade, the production has stopped at 5 lakh 16 thousand tons. Demand has more than tripled over the same period.
Agriculture officials say that farmers are not very interested in these two crops due to lack of improved varieties, long life span and high land crops. Again, the reason is that the market price of spices is lower than the cost of production.
According to Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) market price calculations in Dhaka, the price of ginger in the market has increased up to 122 percent in the last one year. The price of garlic increased by 110 percent. It increased by 53 and 60 percent respectively during the month.
In this regard, Abdul Majed, an importer and seller of spicy products based in Shyambazar of Old Dhaka, told that the demand for foreign (imported) is more than domestic ginger-garlic. That’s why the price increases when there is a shortage. Still, the import deficit due to the dollar has affected the market.
He said, local ginger-garlic is small. People eat less of them now. People have become quite accustomed to buying large sized ginger Chinese garlic. They can be cut easily. Feels innocent. As a result, they will be in demand. That’s why desi ginger-garlic does not get price in the market.
Traders said that the garlic season in the country is from mid-February to mid-April. Ginger season is from December to January – two months. At this time, the wholesale price of ginger-garlic drops to Tk 20-30. Due to which farmers lose interest.
In this regard, Ilyas Hossain, a farmer of Nilphamari Sadar, told that he did not get any price for cultivating these spices for six months. Again, the land is needed for cultivation. Other crops are profitable now. That’s why I haven’t been doing ginger-garlic for a few years.
According to agricultural economist Jahangir Alam Khan, it is possible to increase the current production three to four times by subsidizing 50% of the amount of money spent on importing ginger-garlic. He said that farmers should be interested in cultivating the uninteresting crops when they become necessary, their market prices should be ensured, incentives should be provided considering the cost of imports.
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