- Pizzle and omasum are exported to various countries, bringing Tk300 crore in foreign exchange annually
- In 2017-18, 120 containers were exported, which is the highest amount so far
- In 2018-19, 96 containers were exported
- demand of omasum and pizzle is the highest from November to January in China because of the New Year
- Omasum and pizzle, used in gourmet soups and salads, are in high demand in Europe and East Asia
- Local traders collect pizzle and omasum from butchers and apply salt for preservation within two hours of collection
- They are then taken to stockists who are tasked with efficiently processing them for sale to exporters
- Exporters buy omasum and pizzle from stockists, make them saleable and keep them in cold storage
- Stockists buy raw (salted) pizzle per piece from butchers or small traders at Tk50-70 per kg
- After processing, they sell them to exporters at Tk550-650 per kg
- Unprocessed raw (salted) omasum is sold at Tk400-450 per kg
- In the international market, omasum is sold between $6,000 to $7,000 per tonne (Tk5-6 lakh) and pizzle at $6,800-7,500 (Tk6-7 lakh)
- Only half of the daily cattle slaughter in Bangladesh ends up as omasum and pizzle exports
- Traders can collect omasum and pizzle from only 10% of cattle slaughtered during Eid-Ul-Azha
Omasum and pizzle of cattle, which used to be discarded after their slaughter, are now being exported by many young Bangladeshi entrepreneurs, earning them foreign exchange.
Arafat Hossain, the owner of Carmen International, an exporter of pizzle (penis) and omasum (intestine) in Chattogram, told The Business Standard that the two items are exported to various countries, including Korea, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Thailand, bringing Tk300 crore in foreign exchange annually.
Omasum and pizzle are used as ingredients in gourmet soups and salads overseas. These products are in high demand, especially in European and East Asian countries.
Omasum and pizzle have been exported for the last 10-12 years. At the beginning, two to three containers (1 container = 28 tonnes), used to be exported per month or around 24-36 containers a year, said Arafat Hossain.
In 2017-18, 120 containers were exported, which is the highest so far. In the next fiscal year, around 96 containers were exported. Due to the general public holiday to curb Covid-19 pandemic in 2019-20, the export was sluggish, he added.
According to the exporters, the demand for omasum and pizzle is the highest from November to January in China because of the New Year.
At present, 40 traders from all over the country, including 10 from Chattogram, are exporting omasum and pizzle.
In the past, omasum and pizzle were dumped into rivers or canals, polluting the environment.
At present, local traders collect them from butchers and apply salt for preservation within two hours of collection.
They are later taken to stockists who efficiently process them for sale to exporters.
Exporters buy omasum and pizzle from stockists, make them saleable and keep them in cold storage. When a container is full, they are dispatched to buyers overseas.
The stockists buy raw (salted) pizzle per piece from butchers or small traders at Tk50-70 per kg. After processing, they are sold to exporters at Tk550-650 per kg, while unprocessed raw (salted) omasum is sold at Tk400-450 per kg.
In the international market, omasum is sold between $6,000 to $7,000 per tonne (Tk5-6 lakh) and pizzle at $6,800-7,500 (Tk6-7 lakh).
From collection to export, about 5,000 workers are involved in processing omasum and pizzle in 50 warehouses in Chattogram.
It is estimated that about 20,000 workers work in this sector across the country.
According to exporters, the global omasum and pizzle market is worth Tk30,000 crore. Starting with exports to China, omasum and pizzle of Bangladesh are now being dispatched to Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand and Korea. Bangladeshi exporters are now thinking of capturing European markets.
A worker in this sector can earn Tk400-700 per day.
Md Yunus, the president of Chittagong Omasum Storekeepers Cooperative Society, considers this to be a potentially lucrative sector.
He pressed for cash incentives for entrepreneurs to further expand the potential of the sector.
Abdul Quader, president of the Chittagong Raw Leather Storekeepers Cooperative Society, said that many traders in the leather sector have been doing business with omasum and pizzle for the past few years following the collapse of the leather industry.
According to traders in the sector, only half of the daily cattle slaughter in Bangladesh ends up as omasum and pizzle exports. There are many areas where these products are still discarded. In particular, traders can collect omasum and pizzle from only 10% of the cattle slaughtered during Eid-Ul-Azha.
Traders in this sector have claimed that if 100% omasum and pizzle of slaughtered cattle are preserved and exported, the country will earn thousands of crores in foreign exchange every year. Therefore, this business has to be spread across the country.