Habibulla Masum
The country’s total annual agricultural export is set to hit the $2 billion mark in the next years, giving a big boost to the gross domestic product (GDP) growth, policymakers and experts in the agricultural sector hope.
Export Promotion Bureau data say, Bangladesh earned $673.70 million exporting agricultural products in fiscal year 2017-18, which was 21.79% higher compared to the $553.17 million in fiscal 2016-17.
In 1972-73 fiscal, only 25 food products of the country were exported to 68 countries and earning was 348 million US dollars but now the country is exporting 744 types of goods to 202 countries across the globe earning 36.66 billion US dollars.
The total export of the country including services exports is 41.5 billion US dollars. It is expected to be 60 billion US dollars in 2021. The targeted exports for this year are 44 billion US dollars. The foreign exchange reserve of the country is now around 33 billion US dollars, remittance is about 14 billion US dollars, say experts.
In production of agricultural products over the world, Bangladesh is the 3rd largest in vegetable farming, 4th in paddy farming, 7th in mango cultivation and 8th in potato cultivation.
To showcase the success of Bangladesh and prosperity of the agriculture industry and different types of technologies, new food items and agro-based machinery that will help to boost the GDP growth, the Bangladesh Agro Processors’ Association (Bapa) and Extreme Exhibition and Event Solution Ltd jointly organized a three-day long exposition on agro-processing titled ‘6th Bapa Foodpro International Expo 2018’ at BICC in Dhaka on Thursday.
At least 188 companies with 258 stalls from 15 countries are participating in the Foodpro expo. On the second day of the agro expo, a large number of visitors were seen in different stalls.
Zakir Hossain, who came to visit to exhibition said, “It helps us to get introduced to different types of food and new agricultural technology and machinery. If we can implement these technologies in our agricultural sector, the sector will be developed. And it can contribute a lot to our GDP.”
Md Ariful Islam, chief engineer (agro) of Jadroo Group said, “We are trying to give information about our new auto rice machine available in our respective agent showrooms. We are getting huge response from the visitors.”
“At least 400 to 500 people visited our stall to explore the machines. We are here to show different types of food packing machines,” said Tanvir Ahmed, senior executive of Inova International Company Ltd.
Bapa President AFM Fakhrul Islam Munshi said, “hundreds of people have thronged the fair venue to become familiar with the latest technologies, new food items and agro-based machinery.”
“The fair exhibited the potential of the food processing sector in Bangladesh and played a vital role in fulfilling the goals of Bapa,” he said.
He went on saying the fair would help stakeholder’s access new export markets. Bangladesh is now exporting processed food products to 202 countries across the globe.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said at the inauguration of the exhibition, “The growth of agricultural products is very good, and I am optimistic that in the next two years value of agricultural exports will rise to $2 billion.”