Bangladesh airlifting 50,000 tonne of onion: Minister

Published : 21:10, Nov 19, 2019 | Updated : 21:16, Nov 19, 2019

Egyptians shop at a vegetable market in Cairo, Egypt, October 11, 2017. REUTERS/File PhotoCommerce Minister Tipu Munshi has said the government is importing 50,000 tonne of onions by cargo planes to contain price hike of the essential cooking ingredient.
“The government has started increasing the supply of onion in local market through raising its import by air and sea,” he told a press conference at the secretariat here.
He said around 12,000 tonne onion started reaching the country through the sea.
From the Egyptian capital of Cairo, the first consignment of onion by a Saudi Arabian Airlines flight will reach Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport via Jeddah at midnight on Nov 20, he said.
Then the onion will continue to come to the capital every day through the passenger and cargo planes, he said, adding the imported onion would be sold at fair prices through the state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB).
TCB will sell the onion through the vehicles and their appointed dealers, Munshi said.
The government has begun importing onion from Egypt and Turkey as an alternative way as India suspended the export of the bulb and Myanmar raised minimum export price (MEP).
The onion import by the sea is time-consuming, so the government is importing the daily cooking ingredient through the cargo planes, said the minister.
To curb onion import dependency, Tipu Munshi said special steps have been taken to fulfil the country’s annual onion demand by increasing its production from the next season.
“The government has taken special projects for preservation of onion so that it becomes available round-the-year, the minister noted.
The country annually needs to import 800,000 -10,000,000 tonnes of onion where most of the onions are being imported from India.
Commerce Secretary Dr M Jafar Uddin was present at the press conference.