It has provided a great avenue to earn a living for farmers
A key aspect of an economy that continues to grow sustainably is its ability to diversify in terms of the various industries that contribute to it. For Bangladesh, it has been crucial that we diversify our export basket and move away from an over-reliance on RMG.
We have already taken great strides in this regard, with the ICT sector playing a major role, as more and more industries are invested in and brought back to life in an attempt to provide jobs, generate new skills, and create an economy that caters to a larger part of the population, at home and abroad.
One sector which remains unexplored is coffee, which can be grown in Bangladesh and has seen sizeable growth in the last decade. Unfortunately, there was little focused effort when it came to providing farmers with the necessary tools and giving them the right training in this regard, so that the industry could flourish, and has to a great extent grown as a result of Rick Hubbard, owner of a popular café in the country, who now sources 90% of the coffee for his café from Bandarban.
However, since then, the government has recognized the potential of cultivating coffee in the country, having procured more land to ensure its continued growth in production.
Since coffee can be grown dynamically without costly fertilizers and agro-chemicals, it is environmentally sustainable, and is also great for the hill tracts, which has a major erosion problem. Furthermore, it has provided a great avenue to earn a living for farmers, with Tk50,000 worth of investment yielding around Tk300,000 in return.
Moving forward, with the increasing and never-ceasing demand for coffee in Bangladesh and across the world, we hope that the government encourages its further production in the future and, as experts have said, invest in modern processing machines and technology to give it the boost it needs to become a major contributor to the economy.