Bangladesh is ranked among the top 10 countries in the world in the production of 22 agricultural products. It includes products like rice, lentils, potatoes, onions, and tea, as well as different types of fruits. In the last decade, Bangladesh has been added to the top list in the production of some products such as pumpkin, cauliflower, and homogeneous vegetables. The picture emerges from a review of country-wise agricultural production statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The agency updated these figures last March. The information is given in the year 2021.
Bangladesh is the 94th largest country in the world. However, according to FAO, Bangladesh ranks 14th in the production of primary agricultural products (crops only). China, India, and the USA are at the top. According to FAO data, the value of agricultural products produced in Bangladesh in 2021 was about Tk 4 lakh crore.
Agriculture Minister Dr. Mohammad Abdur Razzak said, "Due to geographical location, climate, and land type, the production of most crops is increasing in our country. The government is also subsidizing agriculture. Emphasis is on innovation, extension, and mechanization of agriculture. In this, we are getting the results of being among the top ten in the world in the production of many crops.
However, due to lack of storage, potatoes, vegetables, and fruits are wasted, the agriculture minister said, for this a big project has been taken up in crop processing, storage, and marketing.
Bangladesh is not the first to produce any product. But the second position is in the production of jute, betel nut, and dry chilies. Bangladesh ranks third in rice, garlic, and other categories of sugar crops (such as sorghum). Berries such as jam, plum, karamcha, latkon, etc., and other classified aromatic spices are fourth. Bangladesh ranks sixth in the production of lentils and tropical fruits (jackfruit, litchi, etc.). The seventh position is in the production of onion, potato, ginger, brinjal, bean seeds, and coconut sprouts. Bangladesh is eighth in tea and pumpkin. Bangladesh ranks ninth in mango, guava and cowpeas, cauliflower and broccoli, and beans and bird feed (seeds).
Bangladesh's progress in the production of some major crops is quite good, such as potatoes. Two decades ago, Bangladesh was the 20th largest producer of potatoes. After that, Bangladesh came to number 7 after leaving behind 13 countries like Canada, Turkey, and Poland one by one. Bangladesh ranks second only to India in the production of pepper (dried). In a decade, Bangladesh has become the second largest producer of pepper after China and Thailand.
Rice is the staple food of the people of Bangladesh. Bangladesh was ranked fourth in rice production for more than four decades. In 2020, Bangladesh moved to the third position behind Indonesia. China and India are at the top.
Mohammad Jahangir Alam, Professor of the Agricultural Business and Marketing Department of Bangladesh Agricultural University, said, 'Agriculture is also undergoing a transformation like the overall economy in Bangladesh. The good news is that many crops are among the world's top 10 crops for small land production. However, there is no room for complacency in this news. In terms of per capita consumption, we are far behind in crops other than rice and potatoes.
Jahangir Alam also said, "The government's five-year initiative (major project to reduce import dependency) should be implemented seriously." If this initiative is implemented, we will be able to enter the top ten in terms of per capita consumption of many other crops. We have to keep trying for that. -Editor