Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) and USAID’s Agricultural Value Chains Project (AVC) jointly organized ‘pre-season dialogue on Tomato’ at DCCI on 8 August, 2017. Director of Department of Agricultural Extension, Ministry of Agriculture Chaitanya Kumar Das was present as chief guest.
Fromer Vice President of DCCI Md. Shoaib Chowhdury presented a keynote paper. He said China is the largest tomato producer in the world. Year by year our demand of tomato is increasing by 13%. He said Bangladesh produces 40,00,000 MT tomato every year but due to post harvest loss and lack of cold storages we have to buy tomato in off season with a high price. Bangladesh has huge potential in tomato processing. At present Bangladesh is processing only 7% tomato of its total production. This 7% processing can be increased up to 30%. In regard to tomato export, Bangladesh exported only 3 MT in 2015 whereas Bangladesh imports 24,396 MT tomatos from India in 2015-16. He also urged for establishing cold storages across the country.
DCCI Vice President Hossain A Sikder said tomato is the popular vegetable in our country. It ranks 4th in terms of production. He emphasized for conducting research for identifying annual demand of tomato. To strengthening value chain of tomato he suggested to transport tomato in plastic casing carefully. To reduce post harvest loss, bulk loading for long distance must be avoided.
Chaitanya Kumar Das said for development of agriculture sector in Bangladesh coordination among the various departments of government and private sector is necessary. He said through public private partnership, cold storage and processing plant can be established across the country. For quality production of crops and vegetables, he emphasized on implementing global agriculture practice (GAP). For lack of tomato processing plants, we lose 30%-40% tomato every year.
Dr. Md. Saleh Ahmed, Consultant, Food Security & Nutrition, FAO and Md. Zakir Hossain, General Secretary, Bangladesh Super Market Owners Association also spoke on the occasion. They said that using green house technology we can increase our agriculture production. They also stressed for establishing tomato processing plant especially in those areas where tomato are grown in plenty.
DCCI Director Imran Ahmed gave vote of thanks. Former Senior Vice President Alhaj Abdus Salam, former Directors AKD Khair Mohammad Khan, Major (Retd) Yead Ali Fakir, Bashir Ullah Bhuyian also spoke on the occasion.