Saifur Rahman
The export of spices exceeded the preset target by 7.30 percent to $42.92 million in the just-concluded fiscal year.
The export was 22.80 percent higher than that in the previous fiscal.
In 2016-17, earning from spices export stood at $34.95 million and the target for the outgoing fiscal had been set at $40.00 million, according Export Promotion Bureau (EPB).
The spice industry, one of the promising sectors of the country, is growing by around 15 percent a year.
As an agrarian country, Bangladesh is well-known for producing different spices. Many Bangladeshis still use green spices from markets, or cultivate the spices themselves, and then process it at home for maintaining freshness.
However, urban people use processed spices for cooking.
President of Bangladesh Agro-Processors’ Association (BAPA) AFM Fakhrul Islam Munshi told Bangladesh post that non-resident Bangladeshis and migrant workers in the Middle East, Malaysia, North America, Australia, the Far East and Europe, are the major consumers of agro-processed foods and spices.
“The main consumers of Bangladeshi spices are migrant workers in the Middle East. They are highly price-sensitive,” said Munshi.
“India and Pakistan are Bangladesh’s main competitors in the spices market. The prices of spices of our competing countries have not increased because of availability of basic raw materials at low prices in those countries”, he added.
Familiarity with Bangladeshi spice flavors and an inherent nationalism are probably the biggest motivating factors in this area of business, he said.
“These people not only send a big remittance back home they are also helping establish a market for Bangladeshi products in those countries,” he added.
For this reason the export of spices has been rising, Fakhrul Islam said.
The spices grown in Bangladesh are turmeric, chilli, sesame, coriander seed, black cumin seed, Cumin seed, fenugreek leaf, Cashew nut, terminalia chebula, vinegar, basil, almond, and tamarind etc.