Ashfaque Choudhury : To attain goal of earning more than $2b vegetable exports abroad, the agricultural ministry aims to treble export revenues from fresh produce-including fruits, vegetables, processed spices, and food-to $2 billion over the next two years by removing exporters’ bottlenecks.
The program comes at a time when export revenues from the whole agricultural sector have surpassed $1 billion for the first time in fiscal 2020-21, supported by a boom in shipments of dry goods and spices in addition to fresh vegetables, fruits, and other items.
The draft plan said that efforts were being made to establish a specific gate at HazratShahjalal International Airport for the admission of fresh agricultural food, together with a scanner, in order to achieve the aim.
Bangladesh has been a major exporter of vegetables, supplying a wide variety of products to countries around the world, however due to some bottlenecks the export could not the reach the height it was supposed to be.
The country is particularly well known for its production of potatoes, onions and other root vegetables, which are exported in large quantities to countries in the Middle East and Europe. Over the last decade, the vegetable export industry in Bangladesh has grown significantly, with exports increasing from around US$3.7 million in 2008 to over US$7.7 million in 2018. This growth has been driven largely by the country’s competitive cost advantage, as well as its geographic proximity to major markets in the Middle East and Europe.
In addition to its traditional exports of potatoes, onions and other root vegetables, Bangladesh has also seen a surge in demand for its fresh vegetables, such as tomatoes, cauliflowers and eggplants. These vegetables are increasingly popular in countries such as Saudi Arabia, India and the United Arab Emirates, which have become major export markets for Bangladeshi produce.
The Bangladesh government has also taken steps to promote the export of vegetables and other foodstuffs. It has invested heavily in infrastructure and access to markets, and has also provided support for farmers in the form of subsidies, credit facilities and access to technology.
However,industry urge the government to increase investments in agricultural infrastructure: Investments in agricultural infrastructure such as irrigation, modern farming techniques and agricultural research can help Bangladesh increase its agricultural productivity and make its produce more attractive to foreign markets.
Develop agricultural export strategies: Developing export strategies that focus on the specific needs of foreign markets can help Bangladesh increase the export of its agricultural produce.
Improve transportation and storage systems: Improving transportation and storage systems to ensure that produce reaches foreign markets in a timely manner and in good condition can help Bangladesh increase its agricultural exports.
Promote organic produce: Promoting organic produce can help Bangladesh to appeal to foreign markets looking for organic produce.
Increase access to markets: Providing Bangladeshi farmers with access to foreign markets, such as through trade agreements or export grants, can help increase the export of vegetables.
Invest in marketing and branding: Investing in marketing and branding of Bangladeshi produce can help to create a positive image of Bangladeshi vegetables and make them more attractive to foreign markets.
In 1971 the export was $24.1 million, 1972 export was $29.7 million,1973 export was $33.1 million, 1974 the export was $37.2 million, 1975 export was $40.2 million, 1976 export was $40.7 million, 1977 export was $43.5 million,1978 export was $49.5 million, 1979 export was $56.5 million,1980 export was $64.2 million,1981 export was $71.1 million,1982 export was $72.3 million,1983 export was $75.3 million,1984 export was $75.5 million,1985 export was $81.0 million, export was 1986, $88.0 million,1987 export was $93.2 million,1988 export was $97.8 million, export was 1989 $104.7 million, export was,1990 export was $112.4 million, 1991export was$125.3 million, 1992export was$132 million.
Asked about the year on year growth Bangladesh vegetable exporters said that as they have provided support through various initiatives such as making the export process easier, providing incentives, and providing access to finance. They also appreciated the government’s efforts to improve the infrastructure of the agricultural sector, which has enabled them to increase their productivity and expand their business.
In the regards, MdMesbahul Islam, senior secretary to the agriculture ministry, said higher exports would increase income of farmers. “On the other hand, we will earn foreign currency,” he added.
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