Although vegetable production in Bangladesh increased by 35.24 percent over the last five years, for various reasons the consumption rate is still poor.
According to officials at the Department of Agricultural Extension (DoAE), some 26 million tons of vegetables were produced in 2017-18 from 1,169,326 hectares of land. This number was 19.4 million tons in 2013-2014, from 9,68827 hectares.
An additional 26.5 million tons of vegetables were produced in 2017-18 compared to 2016-17. 19.9 million tons were produced in 2015-2016, while it was 21 million tons in 2014-15.
Talking to UNB, agro experts said many people in the country cannot take required amount of vegetables every day despite the increasing production. The reason lies in the exorbitant prices of vegetables due to the presence of middlemen at different levels and the widening gap between production cost and the prices the consumers pay. They also suggested boosting organic vegetable production across the country.
Chief scientific officer and head of Vegetable Departmental of Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) Dr Golam Morshed Abdul Halim told UNB that a healthy individual should take 300 grams of vegetable every day but the people of Bangladesh consume just one-third this.
Besides, 35-40 percent of total vegetables are wasted from production to consumption levels due to the absence of storage facility and better transportation system, he said. “Around 150 varieties of vegetables are cultivated in our country. Of them, 35 types are commercially cultivated. Many farmers use pesticides to make more profit but it’s harmful to our health.”