The agriculture, livestock and fisheries sector will see a boost in the country’s south-western region thanks to the improved connectivity created by Padma Bridge.
The southwestern districts remained isolated from the capital for a long time for a lack of access to market and technology.
It is also expected that the Padma Bridge will have the most significant economic and poverty reduction impacts in the Khulna and Barisal Divisions in the southwest region of Bangladesh.
Stakeholders in the agriculture, livestock and fisheries sectors have said the opening of Padma Bridge will boost the trade and economy in the south-western region.
Mizanur Rahman, owner of Nahar Poultry in Jashore, told the Daily Sun that Padma Bridge will expand their business opportunities.
“We faced difficulties in transporting poultry products to the capital city Dhaka. Many live poultry and Sonali chickens have died at ferry ghat due to traffic congestion. Padma Bridge will eliminate this problem,” he said.
More wholesale traders from Kaptanbazar and other areas of Dhaka will come to our area to buy poultry products, which will help us to get competitive prices, he said.
Padma Bridge will also attract investors to invest in the agro, livestock, fisheries and other SMEs in the region due to improved transportation systems, he said.
The districts that can reap economic benefits from Padma Bridge include Barisal, Pirojpur, Bhola, Patuakhali, Barguna and Jhalokati in Barisal Division; and Gopalganj, Faridpur, Madaripur, Shariatpur and Rajbari under the Dhaka Division, Khulna, Bagerhat, Jashore, Satkhira, Narail, Meherpur, Chuadanga, Jhenaidah, Magura in Khulna Division.
The 6.15-km long bridge will create opportunities to set up numerous public and private industries in the area.
Anu Khan, a wholesale fish market owner at Palerchar union at Zajira Upazial in Shariatpur, said they were far away from the capital-based fish market due to a lack of communication infrastructure. Opening of Padma Bridge will bring us closer to the markets in Dhaka, he said.
The time required to transport agro products to major marketplaces will reduce to 3.5 to 4 hours from the existing 7 to 8 hours, which will help farmers make higher profits and get greater access to the mainstream markets.
Md. Mona, owner of Satota Poultry Feed at Gopalpur Bazar of Monirampur in Jashore said, “Poultry traders in the southern districts stayed far away from the mainstream market due to lack of communication infrastructure. Padma Bridge will make it a lot easier for us to connect to the markets in the city.”
Asaduzzaman, owner of Rahela Fisheries at Keshabpur in Jessore, said, “We can easily send our fish to Dhaka once the Padma Bridge opens. The bridge will increase opportunities in the fisheries sector.”
Different poultry and fish farm owners in the region are also expecting a boost in the trade as they can easily connect with the mainstream market.