Organic farming in Bangladesh:
Agriculture is still an important part of our economy and we export agricultural products. In the first quarter of the current fiscal year, Bangladesh export tea, frozen fish, shrimps, and vegetables. Exports of frozen fish went up 23.08 percent to $168.27 million compared the first quarter of the last fiscal year.
Currently, around 12,000 farmers produce organic food — rice, oilseeds, honey, vegetables, meat, fish etc — on some 7,000 hectares of land, which is 0.19 percent of the country’s total farmland. The number of organic farmers increased two folds in the last decade.
In addition, various NGOs and private organizations are practicing organic farming and selling organic products in the local market as well as the international market.
Kazi & Kazi Tea Estate Ltd.:
The Kazi & Kazi Tea Estate started its journey in 2000. Kazi Shahid Ahmed established this tea estate. Located at Tetulia The Kazi & Kazi Tea Estate Ltd. was the first organic tea producer of the country. Today it sells its tea in Europe and USA. Harrods, one of the famous luxury department store in the UK.
Organic Mango from Bangladesh is also exported abroad. Potential buyers monitor the production process of these mangoes.
Geographical Indication products:
According to World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO),
a geographical indication (GI) is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and posses qualities or a reputation that are due that origin.
The main advantage of GI product is that original manufacturers of products can make more profit. Under WTO’s Trade related Intellectual property rights (TRIPS), the Member nations have to respect geographical indications. For example, member country ‘A’ has a product with GI tag ‘X.’ It means that the product ‘X’ is exclusively produced in country ‘A’ and no other country can manufacture or produce the same product and sell it separately. If a manufacturer of another member country ‘B’ manufactures the product ‘X’ then he will be punished.
In 2013, Bangladesh Government enacted the Geographical Indication (GI) Act. Already, Jamdani saree has been certified as GI product followed by Hilsha fish which is an agricultural product. If crops, fruits and other crops exclusively produced in Bangladesh get GI certificate then Bangladesh can produce those products using organic method and sell them all over the world.
Subsidy on Organic Food Production:
Earlier this year, the Government of Bangladesh announced to provide 15 percent subsidy on organic food production to ensure safe and chemical free food for the people. It is a big step towards encouraging organic farming in the country.
Organic agriculture is practiced over one lakh acres of land in Bangladesh. Bangladesh Organic Product Manufacturing Association (BPOMA) is working in this regard. This association aims to spread organic agriculture all over the country by 2020.