Boom in vegetable farming in Bangladesh

According to data from the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation, in recent years, the growth in vegetable production in Bangladesh has been the third fastest in the world. This nation now grows 3.7 million tonnes of vegetables a year from less than a tenth of Bangladesh's available cultivable land.

Due to rising public awareness about eating healthy, fibrous food, demand for vegetables is on the rise as well. A very positive development is the fact that growers are using less chemical pesticides than before. This, again, is the result of years of awareness campaigns.

However, consumers are yet to benefit from the rise in production. High production of vegetables has yet to translate into low cost for the consumers. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Department of Agricultural Extension, some 156 types of local and exotic vegetables were grown in Bangladesh with the output hitting 3.73 million metric tonnes from 0.8 million hectares of land in the last fiscal year. The national demand for vegetables is 13.25 million metric tonnes.

“So to meet the demand of consumers, the production should be increased three times or more,” said Dr Harunur Rashid, vice-chancellor of Patuakhali Science and Technology University.

Vegetable production in Bangladesh has doubled in just over a decade. This has resulted in the country becoming one of the fastest-growing vegetable producers in the world, Mizanur Rahman, director of Horticulture Wing of Department of Agricultural Extension, told The Daily Star.

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