5-speed listening (Onions - Level 2)

Onion emergency in Bangladesh






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Onions are very important in Bangladesh cooking. However, it is more difficult to buy them. There is a shortage. This means prices have gone up a lot. The price of one kilogram has risen from US36 cents to around $3.25. This is nearly a ten-fold increase. Many Bangladeshis now cannot afford to buy onions. Bangladesh usually imports them from its neighbour India. Recent monsoon rain in India damaged a lot of India's onion harvest. This made India ban exports to Bangladesh. Bangladesh's opposition party has called for nationwide protests because of the record prices.

The onion crisis is very serious. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed has stopped using it in her cooking. She is using onion alternatives in her dishes. Some onions are on sale in Dhaka markets at twice their usual price. Hundreds of people queued for hours to buy one kilo. One person said he would stand for two hours more to save some money. He has never seen onion prices so high. A Dhaka resident said people in her neighbourhood have stopped eating onions. She last bought a kilo of onions 15 days ago. Many street-food sellers can no longer make their onion-based snacks.

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