According to the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), around 26.7 million tons of vegetables were produced across Bangladesh in 2018-19 fiscal year So although a very small portion of cultivable lands are being used for vegetable cultivation, its production has seen a significant rise - 37.63% - between 2013-14 and 2018-19 fiscal years.
Furthermore, an extra 2.65 million tons were produced in 2017-18, compared to 2016-17. Moreover, around 20 million tons were produced in 2015-2016 fiscal year, while the figure stood at a little over 21.04 million tons in 2014-15. These numbers were presented at a seminar held at the three-day National Vegetable Fair, which began at the Krishibid Institute, Bangladesh in Dhaka yesterday.
Delivering a keynote speech at the seminar, Shahabuddin Ahmed, former director of Horticulture Research Centre (HRC) of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute, talked about how the introduction of modern technologies and high-bred vegetables resulted in a huge spike in vegetable production in Bangladesh, even though the land used to cultivate vegetables has hardly increased.
Data from the DAE showed that the amount of land in which vegetables are being cultivated rose by almost 29%, to nearly 1.25 million hectares in the last fiscal year -- from only 968,827 hectares in 2013-14.
Government ambitions on vegetable imports
Even though Bangladesh has a long way to go before meeting its national demand of vegetables, Agriculture Minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque said the country already has necessary technologies in hand, and if it can utilize them well, the country will be able to export vegetables abroad after meeting the entirety of local demand.
According to the Agriculture Information Services of the ministry, some 156 varieties of traditional and non-traditional vegetables are being cultivated in the country, among which 35 are considered as principle vegetables. Bangladesh is currently exporting 50 varieties of vegetables to some 118 countries.