Govt aiming to become self-sufficient in onions: Agriculture Minister
The government is emphasizing cultivation of onions during summer or the off season for onion self-sufficiency, Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque said on Tuesday. During the peak onion season, the country cultivates enough onions, but due to lack of storage technology, many onions get rotten, the minister said at the Aman paddy harvesting festival and Liberation War memorial centre inauguration in Damurhuda upazila of Chuadanga. “For this, we have to import onions to meet the demand,” he added. The Agriculture Ministry is implementing a roadmap to reduce onion import dependency. And the production of onion has increased by 10 lakh tonnes in the last two years, said Razzaque. Read more: Bangladesh to export onions in 2-3 years: Agricultural Minister “We also focus on off season or summer onion cultivation. It has many possibilities.” Self-sufficiency can be achieved through summer onion cultivation, said the minister. He also said farmers are being provided all the support including seeds, fertilisers and technology in this regard. Besides, the country has enough food in stock. There will be no crisis of food in Bangladesh, and no famine if no major natural disaster occurs, he said, expecting bumper yield of Aman paddy in the upcoming season. Read more: Instability in onion price as import declines through Hili land port “The current government is working tirelessly to make agriculture profitable. Instead of cultivating only paddy and jute, high value crops and fruits should be cultivated, only then agriculture will be profitable.” Regarding imports of agricultural machinery, Razzaque said, “Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is working on agricultural mechanisation. The implementation of the project of Tk 3000 crore is underway.” He also urged the country’s industrialists to come forward and invest in producing agricultural machinery. “Then import dependency on agricultural machinery will be reduced,” he added.