Huge prospect poses ahead
Staff Correspondent: Bangladesh witnessed a healthy growth trend inthe export of agricultural products during the July-November period ofcurrent fiscal year (FY22), fetching $556.46 million.
The export of agricultural products sees a 24.37 percent growth during thisfive-month period compared to the same period of the previous fiscal year(FY21).
The export of agricultural products during the July-November period of thelast fiscal year was $447.42 million, according to the latest statistics ofthe Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).
Such export of agri products crossed the $1 billion landmark for the firsttime in the last fiscal year while such healthy trend is also continuing inthe current fiscal year.
The government has set a target of exporting $1,109.20 million fromagricultural products in the current fiscal year. According to the EPB statistics, the notable exportable items includevegetables, tea, flower, fruits, various types of spices, tobacco and dryfood.
But, out of those, Bangladesh has attained notable progress in export ofdry food. These include biscuits, chanachur, cakes, potato crackers and peanuts.
Bangladesh Agro Processors Association (BAPA) said the processed fooditems enjoyed the lion share of $1 billion agricultural products exports inthe last fiscal year. Some 500 industries in the country are related to the processing ofagricultural products while 20 of those are large and medium industries and100 of those are related to export.
Commerce Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh said that thegovernment has been providing tax rebate and 20 percent cash incentives onexport of agricultural and processed food.
As a result, the export of agricultural goods has been witnessing uptrendover the last four years.
“The entrepreneurs of this sector have started exporting newer itemsconsidering the demand of the global market which is also putting a positiveimpact on the export volume,” the secretary said.
Tapan said due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the demand for agricultural andprocessed food has increased globally.
“The government wants the entrepreneurs to seize this opportunity and thegovernment will extend necessary support in this regard,” he said.
The notable exportable processed food items include bread, biscuits, dryfood, fruit juice, various types of spices, soft drinks and jam, jelly.
Out of those, the local companies fetched $88.6 million from the export ofbread and dry food during the July-November period of the current fiscalyear.
The main export destinations of Bangladeshi agricultural items are EuropeanUnion, Middle East and Gulf region while the expatriate Bangladeshis and theSouth Asian nationals living in those countries are the major consumers ofsuch products.
Bangladeshi processed foods are being exported to some 145 countries of theworld.
Among the local conglomerates, PRAN Group has been performing largely aswell as they exported items worth $340 million in the last fiscal year. Afterbeginning their export in 1997 to France, PRAN Group’s export destinationshas now expanded up to 145 countries.
The major exportable items of PRAN Group are fruit drinks, soft drinks,biscuits, sauce, noodles, jelly, spices, aromatic rice, potato crackers,chanachur, spicy puffed rice.
Director (Marketing) of PRAN RFL Group Kamruzzaman Kamalsaid that many people around the world have brought changes in their foodhabit due to the pandemic.
“As a result, people are now diverting to cost-efficient food like dryfood. For this, the export of agricultural products crossed $1 billion markin the last fiscal year,” he said.
Apart from technological advancement as well as production of qualityproducts, the government’s policy support like tax rebate and cash incentivesare playing an important role in export boom of agricultural products, headded.
Noting that the export of processed food would increase in the coming days,he said considering this the farmers of the country would have to be moreproduction oriented to boost export.
Kamal said various tariff and non-tariff barriers are still there in theway of exports while strong government initiatives are needed to addressthose.
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