The Interstoff Group, an export oriented apparel maker owned by State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mohammed Shahriar Alam, is the parent company of North Bengal Agro Farm Limited
North Bengal Agro Farm Limited, a sister concern of the Interstoff Group, has started exporting mango from Rajshahi to Switzerland.
The Interstoff Group, an export oriented apparel maker owned by State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mohammed Shahriar Alam, is the parent company of North Bengal Agro Farm Limited.
Agarwal AG Switzerland is importer of the mango, while Technovision is the exporter.
“North Bengal Agro Farm Limited has started export of Rajshahi mango to Switzerland. The first consignment of the export left Bangladesh in the evening today (Saturday),” Mohammed Shahriar Alam posted in his Facebook profile.
If there is no problem with the first consignment, it will continue until mid-August. It will also be exported to other countries, said Shahriar.
"For this year, we have set a target to export 100 tons of mango, but it will not be possible due to some difficulties. However, with the experience gained this year, the target for 2021 will be set," he continued.
"The government will set up a fruit quarantine and processing center next year and everyone will use it. I hope this will create a new chapter for the country," he added.
"Apart from our Tissue Culture Project, North Bengal Agro Farm Ltd is certified by the ‘Bangladesh Seed Certification Agency’ and follows “Standard Post Harvest Processing Techniques and Guidelines of Seed Certification Agency” to produce quality Agro products," said Shahriar.
Apart from mango, there is also huge demand for jackfruit, lemon and other fruits, but due to limitations Bangladesh cannot expand its market there, said the exporters.
“With a consignment of over 1 ton mango produced under Good Agricultural Practice (GAP), North Bengal Agro Farm has started its journey in EU markets. But there is an immense opportunity of exporting fruits and vegetables in the EU markets,” Shahriar Lin, director (business and market development) of NBAF, told Dhaka Tribune.
However, there are some limitations such as quarantine and processing, which put a bar on market expansions in the European countries as post-harvesting and ensuring quality is necessary, said Lin.
"Currently, Bangladesh produces 27 -28 lakh tons of mango and if we can export at least 10% of the production, it will bring a huge amount of foreign currency," he added.
To tap the opportunities, three core issues such as ensuring Good Agricultural Practice, upgrading the quarantine and package to international level and addressing airfares is critical for Bangladesh's success in fruit export, Lin remarked.
"Through community radio, we also provided training to farmers on how to ensure GAP to produce best quality mango for exports as well as on harvesting," he added.