Around 60,000 to 70,000 pieces of omasum are now exported to China through Thailand, Hong Kong, and Vietnam every month, resulting in a huge amount of foreign currency influx in the country
The export of Omasum — a part of cow’s stomach, in Chittagong has surprising gained popularity because of the demand from China.
It is a delicacy in Chinese food, that local exporters have tapped into.
Mohammad Elias, a veteran of the trade for almost 20 years, is an entrepreneur from Chittagong, who has says the demand from China is growing everyday as they use Omasum in soups and salads and the appetite is growing.
According to Bangladesh Omasum Exporters Association, around 60,000 to 70,000 pieces of omasum are now exported to China through Thailand, Hong Kong, and Vietnam every month, resulting in a huge amount of foreign currency influx in the country
A lot of new entrepreneurs have become successful after venturing into this non conventional sector, after following the footsteps of Elias. Especially young entrepreneurs with small amount of capital are getting the most from this trade.
Shahidul Haque, another entrepreneur has set up a shoe factory, which uses Jhut (scrap fabrics from garment factories) as raw materials, in Madarbari area of the port city.
Instead of leather, scrap jeans, discarded fabrics from garment factories, rubbers, and plastic materials are used to manufacture shoes.
Shahidul’s JK Shoe Factory has been in operation since June 2015. It manufactures 550,000 shoes every month. Shahidul’s initial investment was Tk30 only. Now he wants to expand his business through exporting.
From 2015 till now, seven business organizations involved in this sector have been registered as per the Board of Investment.
Md Suman, proprietor of Haji Nurnobi Soybean Rice Mill of Laxmipur has been manufacturing antioxidant-rich rice bran oil since 2017.
Some of the non-traditional businesses include manufacturing plastic items from scrap plastics, edible oil from granular rice, animal food from cow entrails, household items from coconut coir, shoes from scrap fabrics, and mosquito coil from tamarind seeds.
Moreover, the young entrepreneurs are being attracted to nonconventional sectors like growing organic vegetables free from fertilizers and environment-friendly ventures.
Some products have also been exported on many occasions.
Sources from inside the industry have said that the raw materials of the nontraditional items are cheap, readily available and unused. There is no requirement of huge investments, hence the risks associated with the ventures are comparatively lower. The demands for the non conventional products are now on the rise.
Mahfuzul Haque Shah, director of Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) while speaking to the Dhaka Tribune said: “It is very heartening to learn that some off-track businesses have been gaining grounds in recent times.
“It is the nature of consumption which actually paves the way for newer types of products. A business enterprise should diversify its products to stay afloat in the market. The startup entrepreneurs should be given incentives so that they can expand their businesses,” he said.