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Bangladesh's agri exports jump to touch the $1 billion mark despite Covid pandemic

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Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina

Notwithstanding the Covid 19 pandemic that led to rising economic uncertainties, Bangladesh’s export earnings from agricultural products hit the $1 billion mark for the first time in 2020-21. This is an increase of about 20 per cent compared to the previous fiscal year, the Dhaka Tribune reported.

In fact, the exports of agriculture products have been rising for the last 12 years. “Agriproduct exports have witnessed phenomenal growth over the past 12 years – fetching the country $1,028 million in the last financial year,” the newspaper said.

In 2019-20, agri exports for Bangladesh stood at $862 million.

Also read: Trade must widen to ensure food security: WTO chief

According to the report, Bangladesh’s agriproducts export basket has now a more diversified range of products, from ready-to-eat dry food confectionaries to fruits to vegetables, from tobacco to tea, and from cut flowers to spices.

Meanwhile, India and Bangladesh could also look at jointly enhance productivity in the agriculture sector with forward and backward integration in the field. The two countries could also look at expanding trade in the sector and leverage each other’s strength.

Sources said that preliminary work has started and the focus would be on the north east states.

“Some work has started on this. The area where the two countries can collaborate is the north east,” an insider said.

Also read: India continues to feed the world as its non basmati rice exports increase by 288% in April

Agriculture is one of the primary sectors with significant socio-economic implications as about 60 per cent of the population is engaged in the sector, which is also dependent on climatic conditions.

Another report by the Financial Express, Dhaka said that Bangladesh's overall exports to the SAARC nations has been rising year on year, “and it has swelled by 88 per cent in the last five years.”

The newspaper also noted that among the South Asian markets, India is the main destination of Bangladeshi products, followed by Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka.