Monday, January 21, 2019 | ePaper

Dried-fish sector needs govt support to expand export

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THE dried-fish industry in southeastern district of Cox's Bazar and some other parts of the country is now thriving. Bangladesh earns foreign currency by exporting dried-fish to different countries, including the USA, Britain, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Malaysia and Sri Lanka, every year. From Dublar Char of the Sundarbans to Saint Martin's Island, Rangabali Island, Sonadia Island and Moheshkhali of Cox's Bazar are vast areas where dried-fish is processed. Besides, Ibrahimpur of Sunamganj, Jasomantpur of Jamalganj and Chalanbeel are also famous for dried-fish production on commercial basis.   
The dried-fish is the storage of Protein and Amino Acid.  There are also Calcium, Phosphorous and Iron in the dried-fish. In the marine dried-fish, there are Vitamin 'A' and 'D' too. In a general estimation, there remains 14 per cent to 22 per cent Protein in 100 gram dried-fish. The Bombay duck, having 24.88 per cent protein, is most popular among the consumers.
It's highly appreciating that dried-fish traders have already explored an international market despite a lot of obstacles they face in processing and marketing. Although there is a huge demand of non-traditional dried-fish in several countries, the local traders can't go for its production on commercial basis due to lack of infrastructural facilities. The producers and exporters face various problems like inadequate capital, natural calamities, lack of scientific knowledge and technology, price instability, transportation problem, inadequate storage facilities, lack of physical marketing facilities and marketing information, etc. In that case, they don't get necessary support from the government.
Whereas marketing-margin as well as marketing-profit both is relatively higher in consumer markets of dried-fish followed by primary and secondary markets where "beparies and aratdars" are involved. In general, the price of dried-marine fish depends on the size, availability, quality of the species, transport, labour and season. Still, the major cause of price exploitation to the marginal-level producers is "dadan" (a non-banking money lending process) that compel the producers to go for 'conditional engagement' to run the business. In several areas, the dried-fish is still processed in the traditional way.
We do urge the government to take necessary measures immediately with creating infrastructural facilities for making it an export-oriented sector after fulfilling the demand of local market. Apart from earning foreign currencies, it will also create employment opportunity for a huge number of people.

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