BD seeks Nordic technology to boost agro-processing industryFE REPORT | June 09, 2023 00:00:00
Agriculture Minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque Thursday sought technological help from Nordic countries to boost the agro-processing industry of Bangladesh.
The urgency came at an event, titled 'Investment for catalysing sustainable and resilient food systems', organised by The Nordic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) in Bangladesh and Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) at a city hotel, in collaboration with three Nordic embassies in Bangladesh - Denmark, Sweden and Norway.
The programme focused on highlighting and addressing challenges faced by the private sector in the food and agriculture industry of Bangladesh.
Dr Razzaque said Bangladesh has achieved a notable growth in agricultural production in the last one and a half decades.
He said the country now produces an ample amount of fruits like mangoes and those taste very delicious.
"I've found mango jelly, pineapple and strawberry ice creams in Bangladesh which are being imported," he said.
"We want to process such food items that have a huge export demand," he said. "We don't need financial help as the country has now a vibrant private sector who could invest, we just want technology from the Nordic states which could boost our farm processing industry."
"We need to diversify our farm produce through development of our agro processing industries," said the minister.
Dr Razzaque also pointed out that investing in agriculture and in the market system is not merely an option rather it is an imperative for the sustainable growth of the country.
"It is through responsible investment in agriculture and food systems that we could achieve food security, eradicate poverty, foster social equality, promote economic growth, and ultimately realise sustainable development."
Director General (Programming and Investment Promotion) of Public Private Partnership Authority (PPPA) Md Abul Bashar said Bangladesh offers an excellent investment environment and extends a warm welcome to Nordic businesses.
"With a range of incentives and concessions specifically designed for Nordic investors, we aim to create a win-win situation which benefits both parties," he added.
Denmark Ambassador Winnie Estrup Peterson on behalf of the Nordic embassies said her country sees great potential in the food, agro and aquaculture industry in Bangladesh.
Denmark is now engaging in knowledge sharing with the government authorities in food safety and in greening value chains, she added.
Country Director of GAIN Dr Rudaba Khondker said food system is complex and dynamic.
"It requires collective efforts of governments, private sector, and sustainable investment. Public-private partnerships provide a platform for these stakeholders to come together, pool resources, and leverage unique expertise to drive meaningful changes," she added.
Meanwhile, the NCCI also hosted two panel discussions - 'Investment outlook and opportunities for Bangladesh' and 'Standardisation of the food market'.
Participants at the event also had the opportunity to network and build valuable connections with industry peers, potential partners and investors.
NCCI President Tahrin Aman stated that Nordic and foreign investors see the UNFSS (the UN Food Systems Summit) Pathway and N4G (Nutrition for Growth) commitment as a collaborative framework.
"They acknowledge the role of the private sector in achieving goals and consider these commitments an opportunity to align investments with Bangladesh's sustainable development objectives."
"This fosters partnerships for innovation, responsible business practices, and technology transfer," added Mr Aman.
Agriculture Minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque Thursday sought technological help from Nordic countries to boost the agro-processing industry of Bangladesh.The urgency came at an event, titled 'Investment for catalysing sustainable and resilient food systems', organised by The Nordic Chamber of...