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Dhaka Tribune

Exploring the potential of our agricultural exports

Ensuring the sustainability and resilience of our agriculture sector is imperative

Update : 13 Mar 2024, 11:28 AM
As Bangladesh ascends the economic ladder and aims to transition from a least developed country (LDC) to a middle-income economy, it must not overlook the foundational role of agriculture. Despite rapid industrialization and urbanization, agriculture remains the backbone of Bangladesh's economy, being the nation’s largest employer.

With that said, it is encouraging to learn of the increase in exports of our agricultural products year-on-year; over the past three years, owing largely to the shocks in supply chain as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, there had been a gradual drop.

However, with an increase to $637 million from $615m the previous year, it is clear to see that, much like Bangladesh itself, our exports from agricultural goods are a long way from reaching their full potential.

To address this shortcoming, enhancing the quality and diversity of our agricultural products is the first step, which we can do so by prioritizing research and development, adopting modern practices, and promoting high-value products.

Perhaps more importantly, while global events will largely dictate how we operate, Bangladesh must also be agile and prepared for any opportunity presented to it, which will only be possible through improving infrastructure and logistics.

And of course, ensuring the sustainability and resilience of our agriculture sector is imperative. Climate change poses a significant threat to agricultural productivity, among the myriad challenges that we as a nation and agriculture as a sector will continue to face. Thus, it is essential for Bangladesh to be pro-active and have foresight.

The potential of Bangladesh's agricultural sector to drive export growth and economic development is immense. We have the ability to unlock this potential only if we pay the sector the attention it warrants.
 
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