Proper policy support needed to boost
Md. Joynal Abedin Khan: Due to lack of proper policy support, the export of vegetables declined drastically in the recent months. The government has set to earn US$71.78 million vegetables export target in the first four months (July to October) of the current fiscal while it was only $37.22 million. On the other hand, the export income was $105.26 million during the corresponding period of the last fiscal.
Riding on the latest data of Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data, it may be said that the export income dropped by 48.51 percent from the target while it was 64.64 percent lower from the corresponding period of the last fiscal.
Bangladesh has the lot of potentiality through exporting fresh vegetables in the global market, but scarcity of cargo space capacity, flight delays, higher cargo charges, lack of proper co-ordination between the exporters and the importers are calculating the major problems behind declining the export volume in the recent months.
Apart from this, the higher cargo chare is also hindering the export growth, said the industry insiders.
However, the exporters demanded for ensuring proper policy support to boost the export income. Bangladesh vegetable exporters demanded for reducing the cargo charges for boosting their exports to EU and Middle-Eastern countries because the demand of vegetables is gradually increasing in the international market. At the same time, the available air service can enhance the export income in the post virus pandemic period. Industry insiders say that exporters of perishable goods now pay between US$4.0 and $4.5 for carrying a kilogram of vegetables from Dhaka to London, more than twice the freight of $1.5 and $1.7 in pre-pandemic period. Due to higher cargo fares, the exporters are incurring losses on their vegetable exports. Exporters claimed that vegetable exporters from Bangladesh fear that they may lose the Middle Eastern market to Indian exporters due to lack of affordable air communication system. However, the exporters are still paying higher air fare which is hindering the export growth, said Bangladesh Fruits, Vegetables and Allied Products Exporters Association general secretary Mohammad Monsur. Bangladesh exports more than 70 varieties of vegetables to 53 countries like Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and UK, according to Bangladesh Fruit, Vegetable and Allied Products Exporters’ Association (BFVAPEA). Vegetable exporters said that Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates were the major destinations of Bangladeshi vegetables in the Middle East. The United Kingdom is also a key buyer of Bangladeshi vegetables.