Bangladesh has witnessed tremendous economic growth with the development of agriculture sector. Involvement of a good number of private entrepreneurs in this sector has helped the nation make such achievement.
MA Sattar Mondol, former vice chairman of Bangladesh Agriculture University in Mymensingh said this while speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the 5th BAPA FoodPro International Expo 2017 at the International Conference Centre, Bashundhara in the capital on Thursday.
“Once Bangladesh used to suffer deficit of 20-30 tonnes of food, but today’s Bangladesh is a new country which is fulfilled with foods. We focused on agriculture, invested more on agriculture, bought modern technologies and now we are having the results,” said the academician.
Now we have sufficient rice, paddy, wheat, farming cow, goat, hen, duck and many more. This can now easily meet national demand of food as we are sufficient in foods, said the leading academician.
“The country has been maintaining higher annual growth, fetching high foreign remittance and for this, people are now spending more on nutritious foods,” he said.
A F M Fakhrul Islam Munshi
Fakhrul Islam Munshi said, Bangladesh should enhance quality of food processing as well as manufacturing to the global standard through setting up compliant factories in order to enter the world market more extensively.
For this, there is no alternative to set up compliance factories and it is the high time to construct compliant factories in the country for maintaining international standards.
“We are working to include small factories with the SME Foundation. The government has already provided huge amount of loan to small and cottage industries. I request the government to give loan to small food factories. Besides, I urge the government to reduce the rate of interest for the food factories to 4-5 percent.”
He suggested the industry people for finding alternative ways to save 35 percent agricultural wastes that has been made after production. This will help the country to be self-reliant agriculturally.
The exports of each of Thailand and Vietnam touch $330 billion mark where Bangladesh exports only 2 percent of the country’s total agri production. The country has the potential to increase the volume. “I urge all the processors and manufacturers to increase their export volume,” he added.
Chairman of Sajeeb Group
MA Hashem, Chairman of Sajeeb Group said, “Bangladesh-made food products are focusing the country globally. If we can export more agricultural products, then it will help the country and the farmers. For this, it is needed to make our farmers economically sound.”BAPA is constantly working to expand the global market for Bangladeshi food products and this fair will help recognize our local products abroad. Our products are now available in more than 90 percent countries of the world. We have to now analyze how further we can progress, he added.
Bangladeshi products have become a brand to the world market. With all-out efforts, production of high quality products has made Bangladesh a brand in the world market, he further said. “BAPA should introduce modern technologies to enhance and improve production process in Bangladesh. Production of more quality products will help us grab more shares in the world market and explore new markets,” he added.
“We have to move forward. We have to march ahead with small industries. I urge the government to increase incentives for exports of food products. This will help us compete with the world competitors by selling products at reduce rates,” said MA Hashem.
BAPA can sit with the government to take new initiative how we can achieve more success.
SM Jahangir Hossan
SM Jahangir Hossan, Chairman, AP said, “Once all districts except Dhaka were depended on agriculture. A large portion of the population depends on agriculture. But nowadays, to introduce product globally we need to work with these existing farmers. For consumers’ facilities, we produce several rice items from paddy.”
“Consumers do not know what we are producing. So, the industry owners have to ensure quality and safety of the foods. When we go abroad, we find zero tolerance for food adulteration. We have to ensure more quality of food,” he added.
The food processors are responsible for ensuring food safety. We have to deliver safe food to the consumers. Quality machineries, modern factories have to be built. Involvement of more private companies with the government can be helpful to get modern facilities, he said.
Bangladeshi food products are being exported to more than 100 countries. If the entrepreneurs can produce multiple products and make more value additions and ensure the best quality, only then this sector can be the second largest export-earning industry, he further added.
“We can expand productivity by more than 60 percent with use of machineries. For this, more modern technologies have to be introduced in this sector.
On the other hand, our farmer should be given fair prices as they have to bear high production cost,” SM Jahangir Hossan said.
Investments have to be increased in this sector. Pro-active financial sector needs to come forward to help the industry grow. Banks, financial institutions can help when all sectors can come under one roof. Establishing partnership can help this industry grow even greater, he added.