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Govt to provide incentives to onion farmers  

Published : Saturday, 7 December, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 210
Mohosinul Karim

As onion price is still high a section of local farmers started to harvest immature onion to reap more benefit resulting in misuses of the essential commodity.
The Ministry of Agriculture is apprehending that Bangladesh might face a huge crisis of onion next year like this year as onion production will drop due to early harvesting.
Under this circumstance, the ministry is planning to provide necessary assistance to the onion farmers so that they can grow more onion this year to meet up the country's local demand, according to the Agriculture Ministry officials.
The ministry officials claimed that although the country's farmers usually grow around 23.3 lakh tonnes of onion every year the government is planning to increase the harvest to around 30 lakh tonnes.
Once the farmers get incentives from the government, they will be encouraged and give their efforts to grow additional onion locally. It would help to meet up local demands easily.
When asked, Agriculture Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque told this correspondent at his office last week that they were planning to give the farmers incentives like other crops.
Due to early rainfall, the onion farmers were affected the last season. As a result, onion was not grown according to the target impacting the local market.
"At the same time, dependency on only Indian market was a major problem for us. It results higher price of onion after India's ban      on onion export," he said.
Razzaque said considering the situation, the government is planning to increase local production of onion to 30 lakh tonnes instead of present production of 23.3 lakh tonnes.
Initially the government is planning to provide the support to the farmers of Faridpur, Meherpur and Pabna, the most onion growing districts.
Farmers will get seeds, fertilizer and cash supports. It would encourage the farmers and they will grow huge onion in future. If needed, other districts will also get it.
"If we can achieve our target to grow excessive onion locally, Bangladeshi will export onion in future after meeting up its local demands," the minister hoped.
According to the Department of Agriculture Extension, although onion is grown in the country's all districts, it's commercially grown in the districts and regions of Faridpur, Magura, Pabna, Rajshahi, Kushtia, Meherpur, Jessore, Dhaka and Rangpur.
It's grown extensively during the winter at its maximum level both in area and production.
Around 8 tonnes to 9 tonnes are grown in every hectare of land based on the land character.
At present, Bangladesh grows around 23.3 lakh tonnes of onion locally against its local demand for around 24 lakh tonnes.

The farmers and traders have to experience 30 percent of maintenance loss for onion. With this estimation, Bangladesh can meet up demands for 17 lakh tonnes locally.
Due to two Eid and other festival, demands for onion varies at different times. As a result, the importers and traders have to import almost 10 to 11 lakh tonnes of onion every year.
In the last fiscal year of 2018-19, Bangladesh imported 10.91 lakh tonnes of onion which was 9.76 in the previous year.

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