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Farm exports fetch record $615m in 2014 fiscal year

VeggiesFarm exports brought in a record US$615 million in the just-concluded financial year, with vegetables leading the shipment.

Agriculture exports brought in US$615 million in 2014 fiscal compared with $535.74 million a year ago, posting a 15 per cent growth, the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data showed.

Vegetable shipment grew 34 per cent to $147.5 million in the year, which is also 11.5 per cent higher than its fixed target, said the data.

The country exports vegetables like brinjal, pointed gourd, sponge gourd, ridge gourd, snake gourd, bitter gourd, bottle gourd, pumpkin, okra, long bean, local bean, cauliflower, cabbage, papaya, green banana, different kinds of tubers, vegetable leafs and so on, according to the EPB.

Tea exports eke out a healthy 52 per cent growth during the period indicating the return of its heyday.

Expatriate Bangladeshis living in the Middle East, Far East Asia, and the UK are the main buyers of fruits and vegetables sent from the country.

Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Sweden, Greece, Ireland, Canada, Malaysia and Singapore also import a good quantity of Bangladeshi fruits and vegetables, an EPB official said.

He said the overall agriculture export sector achieved good growth in FY’14 over FY’13 but missed the target by 4 per cent.

He pointed out that the export couldn’t reach the target as shipment of fruits, flower and tobacco reduced significantly.

Having a lack of quality fruits, lower shipment of spices was also responsible for missing the export target of $644 million in FY’14, he said.

However, fruits export decreased to nearly $62 million in FY’14, which was nearly $73 million in FY’13.

Fruits, Vegetable and Allied Product Exporters’ Association (BFVAPEA) joint secretary Md Masudur Rahman told the FE that lower demand in the UK and a few EU countries is mainly responsible for the poor export performance.

“The demand has declined in the target countries last summer. Lack of quality fruits specially jackfruits and mango have also affected the export growth”, he said.

“But we are hopeful that fruit export may increase significantly this summer,” he said.

He also pointed out that ban on export of onion, chilli etc and appreciation of Taka against US Dollar has caused slump in export in terms of growth.

Apart from fruits, items such as spices and tobacco witnessed a negative growth in FY’14.

Cash crop like tea fetched $3.71 million with a tremendous 52 per cent growth in the last financial year over FY’13.

Another cash crop tobacco witnessed a negative growth of 2.5 per cent and brought in $59 million.

Data shows good performance of farm exports for the last few years.

Bangladesh received nearly $535.74 million with a growth of over 33 per cent in FY’13 by exporting the items while the amount was $402 million in FY’12, EPB data showed.

The target of agricultural products export has been set at $686 million for FY’15.

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Report: Yasir Wardad
Source: Financial Expree

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