Bangladesh ready to turn into major food exporter
Bangladesh is set to become a major exporter of foodstuff and commodities as its vast alluvial farmlands are gradually being brought under an enhanced production programme to deliver three crops per year.
This was disclosed by top government officials during a news conference in Dubai on Saturday in connection with Gulfood, which starts on Sunday. Bangladesh participates in the Gulfood exhibition every year with a view to extending its export market in the Mena region.
This year, 20 food and beverage manufacturing companies from Bangladesh will participate in Gulfood 2016 with assistance from the Bangladesh Export Promotion Bureau. Exhibitors will showcase products such as juice and drinks, snacks, spices, confectionery and bakery items in the Bangladesh pavilion. The UAE, where nearly a million Bangladeshi expatriates live and work, has played an instrumental role in promoting Bangladeshi food products. More than 60 per cent of the $300 million worth of Bangladeshi exports to the UAE are foodstuff and commodities - mostly rice, pulses, tea and processed food.
"Bangladesh sets a good example in the developing world for attaining self sufficiency in food production. The country successfully increased its agricultural yields manifold in the recent past despite a huge population pressure on cultivable lands," S. Bodiruzzaman, Bangladesh ConsulGeneral in Dubai and Northern Emirates, said. "These days, agriculture is not only a foodgrain provider to the country, but it has also emerged as one of the most important export-oriented industries."
"The agro-based food industry is a fast growing sector in Bangladesh, contributing significantly to the economic growth [32 per cent of the GDP] and generating huge employment [ 63 per cent of the labour force]," A.K.M. Rafique Ahammed, Commercial Counsellor of Bangladesh, said. The recent export trends show the potential of Bangladesh's processed food industry in the global market which is worth approximately $4.5 trillion. The exports of processed foods are growing at an average rate of 26 per cent. Among the exportable food items of Bangladesh, processed foods, frozen fish, prawn and lobsters and green vegetables have a huge market demand in export destinations across the globe.