Bangladesh has resumed export of betel leaf to Europe after seven years of a ban. European authorities banned the product after it was found contaminated with salmonella bacteria in 2014.
The export of betel leaf formally resumed Wednesday through the launching of a programme titled “Export of safe and quality betel leaf to Europe.”Agriculture Minister Dr. Abdur Razzaque formally inaugurated the programme at the central packing house in Shyampur Dhaka.
Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), Bangladesh Fruits, Vegetables and Allied Products Exporters Association (BFVAPEA) and Business Promotion Council of Commerce Ministry jointly organized the event.
“It’s good news that the export of betel leaf to Europe has resumed. We have been successful after tireless efforts to make this happen,” said Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque at the event as the chief guest.
He said the ministry will continue its efforts so that the export of betel leaf does not get interrupted.
Razzaque said Bangladesh has huge potentials to increase the export of agricultural products. “We will continue to work to increase export of farm products to Europe and other countries.”
He said the farmers are producing “poison-free” goods across the country to ensure safe foods. “I hope Bangladesh will earn large amount of foreign currency from the agricultural goods export. This will also benefit farmers.”After the ban of Bangladeshi betel leaf in Europe, Bangladesh has taken a lot of measures to resume the export including land selection for safe betel leaf production, contract farming, monitoring, tracing, training for farmers and regular test of betel leaf, said the ministry sources.
Before ban, Bangladesh exported $ 38 million in FY 2012-13 and $ 30 million in FY 2013-14 by exporting betel leaf.
The event was also attended by Syed Abul Hossen Babla MP, Senior Secretary at Agriculture Ministry Md. Mesbahul Islam, Senior Secretary at Commerce Ministry Dr. Md. Zafar Uddin, BFVAPEA President SM Zhangir Hossain, with DEA Director General Md. Asadullah in the chair.