While the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths across the world have remained relatively low, the pandemic is not finished yet. The pandemic, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, rising trade deficits, and the collapse of production-supply-marketing systems have weakened the human condition worldwide. The ordinary people are at a stake due to all these reasons. It also creates a bad effect on the country's economy.
The unrestrained rise in prices of daily commodities in recent times has caused a stir across the country, although all of them have been seen to have their own arguments for and against it. Onions have become a 'new issue' amid unrest over the rise in edible oil prices across the country. Although there is no shortage of stocks to meet the demand till next September, this essential product is heating up the market. The reason for the increase in price in weekly intervals is 'the fair share of farmers' is at Tk 15-20. Many are looking for the smell of manipulation in it.
The 'onion issue' is not new this time around. In the last half of 2019, the import of onions from India stopped and the prices in the domestic market skyrocketed. As a result of the price hike up to Tk. Although it ranks third in the world in onion production, Bangladesh is at the top in import.
It needs to import around 5 lakh tonnes against the demand of about 35 lakh tonnes per annum, more than 90 per cent of which comes from neighboring India. When onion heat spreads in the country's market, the issue of importing or not importing from India naturally comes up in the discussion. Because, even if the cause of the Ukraine war over the rise in edible oil prices is known, at least on the question of onions, there is no way to involve anyone other than India, Myanmar and Turkey in general.
It is being said that onion import has been stopped in the interest of the farmers of the country. There is little chance of ignoring this initiative to provide fair price benefits to the farmers. Attempts to bring back the slogan 'If the peasant survives, the country will survive' will give hope to the peasants. Due to the interest of farmers in onion cultivation in the hope of getting better prices, the production has increased by eight lakh tonnes last year. If we can maintain such continuity, we will reap the benefits.
However, the reason given by the farmers for getting a fair price as the reason for this sudden price increase is not valid now. Even though imports have stopped, there is news that there is no shortage of onions for the next three months. In the midst of all this, it has been announced that despite the unfavorable situation caused by the price hike, efforts will be made not to import onions from India.
A review of past events reveals that every time a price increase occurs, the issue of giving a fair price to the farmer first comes to the fore. After this, the 'bet' of not importing at all arose. But the final result is to heat up the country's market, increase the suffering of the people and force them to import. In this context, why a specific country is being named? It has to be imported from where it is available cheaply.
The turmoil in the world market takes a new turn from time to time. The big challenge now is to keep pace with the world. Forgetting the events of the past, the country market is busy trying to find the answer to the question of whether to import or not! How long will it take for such talk to bring about disaster by pushing ahead in the wide discussion and criticism about the price increase of all other things! A culture of moderation is essential in conversation. It must be taken into account. Who can tell what is going on in any situation. Rather, the religious instruction says— ‘And be moderate in your pace and lower your voice; indeed, the most disagreeable of sounds is the voice of donkeys.’