People waited in line for hours to buy subsidized onions in Dhaka, Sunday, November 17.

Bangladesh has been urgently importing onions by air as the price of the essential ingredient in local dishes soared to record highs after neighboring India banned exports in late September after heavy monsoon rains reduced the crop.

One kilogram of the staple vegetable usually costs 30 taka (U.S. 36 cents) but has increased to up to 260 taka (U.S. $3.07) after the ban was imposed.

Local media reported several onion consignments arrived at a major port in Chittagong city on Sunday after Dhaka imported the bulbs from Myanmar, Turkey, China and Egypt.

Restaurants have cut onions from their menus, and there are reports that even Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has stopped using onions in her dishes.

Bangladesh's largest opposition party has called for nationwide protests on Monday over the record prices, which they blame on the government. (AFP)

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