There is no supply of onions at 33 wholesale markets at different points in the city since Sunday night. Although the government has started importing onions from Egypt, Pakistan and some other countries, the amount is still lower than the local demands.
Authorities concerned have figured out five reasons behind the empty wholesale markets of onions in the district. These are - mobile court panic, not stocking onions in fear of loss due to regular price fluctuations, shortage of old onion stocks in the markets, damage to the local variety of onion during cyclone Bulbul and import of insufficient amount of onions.
Talking to UNB, Md Kabir Khan, manager of Allahar Dan Banijjo Vandar in Sonadanga, said the import of onion from India has been stopped since September 25. Onion traders used to bring some 40 metric tonnes of onions from Benapole and Bhomra ports but they stopped it fearing fine by mobile court for stocking the bulb.
Besides, traders do not stock onions in fear of regular price fluctuations in the markets. Four wholesale markets in Faridpur have run out of onions. Many indigenous onion fields were damaged by cyclone Bulbul, he added.
Shahadat Hossain, manager of Helal Banijjo Vander in Truck Terminal area, said one reason behind the scarcity of onions in Khulna markets is that the supply of indigenous onions from Faridpur’s Nagarkanda, Jhatubdia, Kurepara and Chandhat of have been stopped.
Dinesh Chandra Bari, manager of Bayazid Banijjo Vander, said the onion shortage started since India banned export.
The stock of onion is almost zero at 33 wholesales markets including Taj Trading and Sohail Trading in Kadamtala, Haque Banijjo Vander, Rafi Enterprise, Morolganj Banijjo Vander, Allaher Dan Banijjo Vander in Truck Terminal ofSonadanga, Abu Sufyan Banijjo Vander, Shekhar Shaha Banijjo Vander, Azizul Molla and Laxmi Rani Banijjo Vander in Daulatpur.
Touhid Mollah, a retailer of Daulatpur market, said he collected 55 kg onions on Sunday following the demand of customers. That sold out within two hours. Based on their varieties, onions were sold for between Tk 210 and Tk 230 per kg in the retail markets.
Chief Executive Officer of TCB Khulna region Md Rabiul Morshed said over 5,000 kg onions are being sold in five trucks in the city's Tutapara, Kabarkhana, in front of SP Office, Moylapota, New Market and Khalishpur every day.
Local variety of onion was sold at Tk 240-250 per kg while the imported onion was Tk 230-240, according to the report of the District Market Officer Abdus Salam Tarafadar sent to Khulna Deputy Commissioner's office on November 17.