According to data from the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) and the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), vegetable production in Bangladesh is increasing, thanks to the consumers' growing interest in dietary diversity, availability of quality seeds and prospect of profit for farmers.
These agencies estimate increased acreage and production, although there is a huge gap in data between the two. However, the agriculture ministry is currently using the DAE estimate on vegetable production.
According to DAE data, farmers produced 19.7 mln tons of vegetables in fiscal year 2020-21, up from 18.4 mln tons the previous year. Vegetables were grown on 935,000 hectares of land that year. The BBS is yet to release its estimate on vegetable production for fiscal year 2020-21 but its estimate for fiscal 2019-20 was 4.57 mln tons, which was one-fourth of the DAE estimate.
Despite the huge gap, there has been an upward trend in production and acreage. For instance, Bangladesh grew vegetables on 908,000 acres of land in fiscal 2009-10 to produce 2.99 mln tons of crops that year, according to the BBS. Since then, acreage grew 25 per cent while production shot up 53 per cent until the end of fiscal year 2019-20, the BBS data shows.