On Wednesday, 82-ton of Pakistani onions landed at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Recently, India placed a ban on the export of onions to Bangladesh, which led to an acute shortage of onions.
The onion crisis is so serious that even the Prime Minister has stopped using it in her cooking. Sheikh Hasina Wazed said she is using onion alternatives in her dishes. A limited number of onions are on sale in several Dhaka markets at twice their usual price. Hundreds of people queue for hours to buy just one kilo.
Bangladesh decided to bring down the prices of onions back to normal levels by importing onions from Pakistan. In this regard, a cargo plane of Silkway West Airlines carrying 82-ton of Pakistani onions landed at Dhaka Airport on Wednesday.
A 41-year-old English teacher said: “Even if I have to stand another two hours, I will do that. I can save some money. I have never seen onion prices this high.”
A Dhaka resident said a lot of people in her neighborhood have stopped eating onions. She said: “It has been 15 days since I bought one kilo of onion.” Many street-food sellers can no longer make their onion-based snacks.
Onions are very important in Bangladeshi cuisine. The vegetable is a staple in the country’s cooking. There is a shortage of them, which means prices have rocketed.
Many Bangladeshis simply cannot afford to buy onions. Bangladesh traditionally imports onions from its neighbor India.
Recent heavy monsoon rains in India damaged a lot of India’s onion harvest. This has made India ban exports to Bangladesh. The price of one kilogram of onions in Bangladeshi markets has risen from US36 cents to around $3.25.
This is nearly a ten-fold increase. Bangladesh’s opposition party has called for nationwide protests over the record prices.
According to Assistant Commissioner of Dhaka Customs House, Sazzad Hossain, Bangladesh will import more Pakistani onions in the coming days.
Earlier, the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) directed traders to sell onions at Tk45 per Kg to make the onions affordable for the common man. Moreover, on 14th November, a group of traders from Chittagong dumped 20 tons of rotten onions in the Chaktai Canal of Karnaphuli River.