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Fruit yield hits record high

Published : 13 Jun 2022 10:27 PM | Updated : 14 Jun 2022 01:10 PM

Bangladesh has become an example of success in the world in fruit production over the past few years, but needs to grow the industry more to meet local demand, said Agriculture Minister Mohammad Abdur Razzaque.

Fruit production is increasing at the rate of 11.5 percent per annum in the country, which is the highest growth rate in the world, the minister said at a media briefing on Monday at the Ministry of Agriculture at the Secretariat to mark the upcoming National Fruit Fair.

Agriculture Secretary Md. Sayedul Islam, senior officials of the ministry and heads of agencies were present at the time. The fruit fair will be held at Krishibid Institute from Jun 16-18, between 9 am and 9 pm.

“Globally, Bangladesh stands in second position in jackfruit production, seventh in mango production, eighth in guava and fourteenth in papaya production. It has made it into the list of top ten countries producing seasonal fruit,” he added.

Abdur Razzaque said Bangladesh has also achieved success in cultivating new fruits. Mango and jackfruit were the only major fruit produced in the country 20 years ago and only about 56 types of fruit were produced then. Now at least 72 types of fruit are being farmed.

The minister, however, said the production of fruits in the country was about 1 crore tons in 2008-09, which now stands at about 1.22 crore tons. Fruit production grew by 22% in last 12 years. An increase in fruit production has caused a small drop in the per capita consumption of grains in the country. People are consuming more fruit than before. While the per capita fruit consumption was 55 grams in 2006, it rose to 85 grams in 2018.

“The current government has been working to ensure safe and nutritious food for everyone. That is why fruit and fruit trees are very important,” the minister said.

A proper portion of fruit in people’s daily diet can play a major role in ensuring food security and nutrition. That is why the government is focusing on producing more fruit that is safe to eat and produced in an environmentally friendly way.

“Our scientists have already invented 65 improved varieties of 30 fruit that can be farmed,” the minister also stated.

“Besides local fruit, Bangladesh has been farming some exotic fruit as well. Cashew and coffee beans are farmed in the hilly areas of the country,” he said.

The Minister said that Bangladesh has achieved unimaginable success in agricultural production and food security as a result of formulating and implementing timely policies of the present agri-friendly government under the strong and visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina

Despite the challenges of natural disasters, depletion of arable land, overpopulation, salinity of land, etc., Bangladesh today is self-sufficient in granular food. Besides, this success has also been achieved in fruit production.

He said that 790 metric tonnes of mango and 8 tonnes of litchi were exported in the fiscal year 2020-21. On the other hand, in the expected progress in domestic fruit production, foreign fruits have to be imported. 

Apples, oranges, maltas and grapes account for about 85% of the total imported fruits in the country. According to the Department of Agricultural Extension, 8 lakh 241 metric tonnes had to be imported in the fiscal year 2020-21. However, the country is now cultivating oranges and maltas on a limited scale.

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