DHAKA, August 9, 2017 (BSS) - Speakers at a dialogue in the city today called for establishing more processing plants and cold storages across the country to ensure better use of the agricultural products.
"Cold storages and processing plants can be established across the country through public private partnership," said Chaitanya Kumar Das, director of Agricultural Extension Department under the Agriculture Ministry, speaking as chief guest at a dialogue at Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), said a press release.
DCCI and USAID's Agricultural Value Chains Project (AVC) jointly organized the "Pre-season dialogue on Tomato" to find out the potentialities of tomato and establish tomato processing plants especially in those areas where tomatoes are grown in plenty.
DCCI Former Vice President M Shoaib Chowhdury presented a keynote paper. Among others, DCCI Vice President Hossain A Sikder, Consultant of the Food Security and Nutrition of Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Dr M Saleh Ahmed and Bangladesh Super Market Owners Association General Secretary M Zakir Hossain also spoke on the occasion.
Chaitanya Kumar Das said coordination among various departments of government and the private sector is necessary for the development of agriculture sector in Bangladesh.
For quality production of crops and vegetables, he emphasized on the implementation of global agriculture practice (GAP).
M Shoaib Chowhdury said Bangladesh produces 40,00,000 metric tons tomato every year but due to post harvest loss and lack of cold storages, the country has to buy tomato in offseason at a high price.
"Bangladesh has huge potential in tomato processing. At present, Bangladesh is processing only 7 percent tomato of its total production. This 7 percent processing can be increased up to 30 percent," he added.
In regard to tomato export, he said, Bangladesh exported only 3 metric tons in 2015 whereas Bangladesh imported 24,396 metric tons tomato from India in 2015-16.
He called for establishing cold storages across the country.