Special Correspondent, Dhaka
Onion production in the country has increased by more than 40 percent in the last three years. With this production, the country has overcome the single dependency on Indian onion.
The annual demand of onion in the country is 25 lakh tons. According to the information of the Department of Agriculture Extension, in the fiscal year 2021-22, the production of the product in the country was 36 lakh 41 thousand tons. At the same time, the amount of arable land and productivity of the product has increased.
In the fiscal year 2017-18, onion has been cultivated in 2 lakh 12 thousand hectares of land in the country. In the financial year 2021-22, its amount stands at 2 lakh 59 thousand hectares. During this period the productivity of the agricultural product increased from 11 tons per hectare to 14 tons.
As the local production is sufficient, the impression of the instability of the international market was not visible in the onion market in the country during the first half of the year. In some countries, the price of the product was several times higher than normal, but it was decreasing in Bangladesh.
Pabna district produces the most onions in the country. In the current season, onion is being cultivated on a total of 53 thousand 320 hectares of land. Meanwhile, cutting of 90 percent of tubers or root onions planted in the last season has been completed. Onion was cultivated on 8 thousand 510 hectares of land in the district. Production has been 1 lakh 9 thousand 355 tons. Local farmers said that they are getting relatively good prices due to the reduction of imports from India.
Wahida Akhter, secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, said, “There used to be instability in the market due to the high dependence of onion on imports. But farmers have always requested us not to import. The shortage that used to occur during the summer onion production season is not happening now. Farmers are now producing much more. They are being given various incentives.”
Despite of the increased production, after a sudden call from India on export ban, the price of onion has become double overnight.
It is being said on behalf of the government’s commerce ministry that there is sufficient stock of imported onions in the country. As a result, India’s export ban will not have much impact.