Thursday, 28 October, 2021

High export prospect for agro-products

Export of agricultural products from the country shows a very bright prospect of growth. According to a report of a Bangla daily, export of the products has doubled during the last four years and is likely to grow six times within the next 2-3 years. Bangladesh now exports agro-products to a total of 144 countries of Europe, America and Africa.  Stakeholders are of the opinion that if the impediments that still stand in the way of export growth can be removed, earnings from this sector is likely to occupy the second highest position after readymade garment, the highest foreign exchanger earner for the country.

A quick glance at relevant records can help us reach a correct appraisal in this respect. According to statistics of the Export Promotion Bureau, in the 2016-17 fiscal year the export value of the products was only $550 million but rose to $1,030 million in 2020-21 with a growth rate of 19 per cent. Maintaining the same encouraging trend, Bangladesh earned $210m in the July-August period of the current fiscal year against less than $180m in the corresponding period the previous year, showing a growth rate of 16 per cent.

However, as is mentioned, export of agricultural products from Bangladesh is not free from impediments. For lack of appropriate preservation and processing technologies, as high as 30 per cent of the products is lost at the primary level. Again, a part of the products gets damaged due to absence of specialised transportation mechanism. Moreover, our farmers are not fully aware about good agricultural practices. And there are also the non-tariff barriers from the importing countries. These discouraging factors need to be removed in right earnest, which may not be that easy after graduation of the country to the next level.

Due to innovative research by our agricultural scientists, introduction of modern technology, hard labour of the farming community and, above all, pragmatic policies of the government, agriculture in this country is already a success story. Bangladesh has already achieved a sort of self-sufficiency in certain sub-sectors of agriculture. The total crop production is enough to feed growing number of mouths that have doubled over the period since independence. Better prospect of export will accelerate the growth of this vital sector of the national economy. We must not miss the bus.