The prices of potatoes and onions have witnessed an increase in the retail markets of the capital.
Visiting several markets, it has been found that the price of potato has increased by Tk5, and now costs Tk50 per kilogram. But it sold at Tk45 last week. However, a few shops were selling potatoes at Tk45 per kilogram in some retail markets in the capital.
Meanwhile, onion (local variety) was being sold at Tk90-95 at retail level, whereas the price was Tk85-90 per kilogram a week ago.
However, onions imported from China, Pakistan and Egypt were available between Tk60 and Tk75 per kilogram.
When asked about the increased price of potato, Md Hafiz, a wholesaler in Karwan Bazar, told The Business Standard that they were commission agents.
"We have to sell according to the price fixed by the wholesalers at the cold storage level," he said.
Onion wholesalers in Karwan Bazar and Shyambazar said the price goes up whenever there is any problem with the supply of local onion. The price has increased this time due to a reduction in supply, they claimed.
Mazedur Rahman, an onion wholesaler at Shyambazar said, "Alongside the increase in the price of local onions, the supply of imported onion has risen as well. Buyers can purchase those imported varieties at a reduced price."
The people concerned say the instability in onion prices began since the Indian government announced the suspension of onion export on 14 September. This instability is yet to be settled, they said.
They also said the onion market went unstable at this time last year, which was normalised after the yield of local onion varieties in March this year.
According to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh, prices of local onion varieties at this time were 33% higher than last year's.
On the contrary, to prevent volatility in the potato market, the Department of Agricultural Marketing fixed the price of potatoes as per the recommendations of the traders.
The price was set at Tk35 per kilogram maximum at the retail level, but traders did not implement the decision.