Sunday, October 25, 2020 | ePaper

Millions of families face financial hardship as ban on crab export to China prolongs

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Al Amin :
Thousands of crab farmers, traders and exporters are now passing their days in hardship as the China yet to withdraw ban on crab export to the country.
Sector insiders said lack of authentic health certificate, quality and diplomatic weakness are reasons behind not to remove obstacles of exporting crab and kuchia (Gangetic mud eel) to the country.  
Bangladesh exports crab and kuchia worth Tk 700 crore every year. China alone accounts for 90 percent of the export, according to the Export Promotion Bureau of Khulna office.
But the crab and kuchia export to China, the main export destination, has been remained suspended since January 25 due to the outbreak of Coronavirous in the country.
Kazi Mahabubul Alam Azad, Secretary of the BLCFEA, said the export of crabs to China had been totally suspended from January 25 to mid-February.
"Later we started exports to some provinces of China at a very limited scale. But from March 23, the exports were stopped again as the Bangladesh government has shut all airports in this country," he said.
"The main problem is that we have not got any payment of what has been exported already this year. Our buyers have not paid us yet," Alam said.
Md Shakhawat Hossain, a local crab exporter, said, "I haven't yet got Tk 40 lakh
against exporting seven tonnes of crabs to China." Officials of the Fisheries Department alleged that suspension is prolonging as some dishonest exporters use fake health certificate to export the crab to China. Moreover, Chinese customs found some unhealthy elements in the crab. As a result, the Chinese customs did authentic result, health certificate mandatory.
Being the certificate an expensive one, the crab exporters are unwilling to take the certificate, and so, suspension is being prolonged, they said.  
Sources said the leaders of the Bangladesh Live and Chilled Food Exporters Association (BLCFEA) met the Fisheries and Livestock Ministry Secretary Rawnak Mahmud on July 29 to take initiative to withdraw the suspension.
After the meeting, the secretary formed a committee and ordered the committee to take measures within 10 working days, but not yet settled. The BLCFEA requested the Commerce Ministry Secretary Dr Md Jafor Uddin to take initiative to withdraw the suspension as soon as possible for the sake of national interest.
Md Yusuf Khan, Principal Scientific Officer of Fish Inspection and Quality Control of Fisheries Department, told The New Nation, "We will hold a meeting with China Customs House to resolve the crisis on Tuesday. Hopefully, the issue will be settled after the meeting."
He further said China Customs House had totally suspended entrance of crab in the country as they enclosed some fake health certificates and different unhealthy elements in the consignments of crab.
Latter, they issued notification that the proper health certificate is mandatory to export crab to China and since then the crab export has remained halt, Yusuf said.
A large quantity of crabs was usually exported during the Chinese New Year festival. But due to this year's ban, many crabs have already died because those could not be sold in time.

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