Bangladesh Market Affected by Low Exports
The potato farmers in Bangladesh are struggling, as they are stuck with surplus stocks and low exports, writes The Daily New Nation. The report notes that the country produced a record high of approximately 10.9m tons of potatoes last year. With an annual average demand of around 7m tons, the country witnessed a surplus of about 4m tons, most of which was wasted.
For a lack of better use of the surplus, farmers were left with no option but to feed those potatoes to cattle. This was, in part, due to the fact that not all surplus can be stored in the cold storages for low capacity.
Now, a seven-member committee comprising officials from the Agriculture Ministry, Commerce Ministry, DAE, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute and Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation has recently been formed to promote potato exports and explore new markets abroad. According to the report, Bangladesh is the world’s seventh largest producer of potato. Russia and the EU were potential markets for Bangladeshi potatoes, but those opportunities ended in 2015-2016 when Russia identified diseases in the potatoes exported from Bangladesh and issued a temporary ban.
The committee is now looking to set up strict export guidelines, to prevent low-quality products being exported. Usually, Bangladesh exports potatoes to countries like Malaysia, Benin, Vietnam, Canada, Qatar, Kuwait, Brunei, and Singapore, but good business practices might help expand that reach. Bangladesh exported potato flakes and crackers to 26 countries last year.