Bangladesh's agro-processing industry is way behind considering some countries are exporting mango jellies without having any natural mango production capacity, Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque.
Some countries, despite having no natural mango production potential, are manufacturing jellies and exporting these to other countries. On the other hand, Bangladesh has enough natural resources for mango production but still cannot properly exploit the huge international demand for processed mango products, the minister said at a discussion in the capital Thursday.
Razzaque asked industry stakeholders from Denmark, Sweden and Norway – who hosted the event – to help improve the technologically backward food processing sector of Bangladesh. "At present, we are lagging drastically behind in this sector due to persistent technological weaknesses."
The Nordic Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Bangladesh and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) hosted the event titled "Investment for Catalyzing Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems" in collaboration with the embassies of Denmark, Sweden and Norway.
"Investing in agriculture and the market system is not merely an option, but an imperative for the sustainable growth of our nation as well as for ensuring food security, eradicating poverty and fostering social equality," the agriculture minister said.
Country Director of GAIN Dr Rudaba Khondker said that food systems are complex and dynamic requiring collective efforts of governments and private sectors.
Danish Ambassador Winnie Estrup Peterson said, "Denmark sees great potential in the food, agro and aquaculture industries of Bangladesh and is now engaging in knowledge sharing with government authorities here for ensuring food safety and making value chains eco-friendly."
During the event, participants had the opportunity to engage in insightful discussions, share best practices, and explore innovative approaches to driving investment in the food and agriculture sector. Discussions were held on the development of the overall private sector environment for supporting the food production system. The discussion sessions further addressed current bottlenecks in the food sector and mitigation strategies through better process management, incorporation of sustainability and sustainable practices, involvement of youth as major catalysts in food systems transformation; and continued dialogue with key stakeholders and policymakers to reflect the United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) pathway document and the global effort Nutrition for Growth (N4G)