Farmers demand to stop
Ibrahim Khalil Jewel: Onion cultivation has increased in the country with the encouragement of the government. In the current season, farmers have started to harvestnew onions from the fields. But at the same time, onion is being imported from different countries including India in large quantities. Farmers of the country are not getting the expected price of onion. So they demand to stop import during the full season.
Annual demand of onion in Bangladesh is at least 25 lakh metric tons. The production is about 36 lakh metric tons. At least 25 percent of it is wasted. So onions are imported from some countries including India, Myanmar.
Usually, when the price of onion in the country’s market rises abnormally, the government allows imports to provide relief to consumers. Such was the policy of the government in the last few years. But onions are being imported even in this full season. The farmers of the country are not getting expected price due to the fall in the market.
In such a situation, the farmers demand to stop onion import during the peak season to avoid losses.
Farmers said, what will happen after getting the yield? ‘Mokam’ is full of imported onions.The yield is good but I am not getting the price. We are affected by it.
The traders said that the yield has improved this time but they are not getting the price. That’s why the farmers said that if the price is a little higher, the cost will cover.
Onion consignments are entering the country through the land port every day. At the port, ‘Indore’ and ‘Nasik’ varieties of new onions are selling at Tk 33 to Tk 35, and old onions at Tk 21 to Tk 22 per kg.
Mokam traders said, “Our farmers could be benefited. Imports should be restricted for that. Due to the import of onions from India, the farmers are getting relatively low price of local fresh onions.”
Sohrab Hossain, public relations officer of Hili Land Port said, “Onion import from India continues through this port. But the import is much less than before.”
Economists say farmers may be discouraged from producing if they do not get a fair price for their produce. So they advise not to import onion in full season.
Agricultural economist Dr. Jahangir Alam Khan said, “Import should be stopped especially from January to March-April. So that farmers get fair price of onion.”
Onion cultivation costsTk 40 to 50 thousand per bigha in the country. Not all onions can be preserved as they are perishable.
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