Speakers at a webinar on Wednesday urged Dutch investors to invest in Bangladesh’s aquaculture sector for steady growth and diversification noting that the sector is facing problems due to Covid-19 situation.
On behalf of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Dhaka, Larive International, and their Bangladeshi counterpart, LightCastle Partners, have concluded a study titled ‘Opportunities in the aquaculture sector in Bangladesh’.
Larive International and LightCastle Partners jointly held a webinar titled “Opportunities in the Aquaculture sector in Bangladesh” Wednesday to disseminate the study’s findings.
Harry Verweij, Ambassador of the Netherlands to Bangladesh and M. Riaz Hamidullah, Ambassador of Bangladesh to the Netherlands, spoke on the occasion.
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The key speakers were Matthias Brienen, Director of Larive International; Zahed Amin, Director of LightCastle Partners; and Saif Nazrul, Senior Business Consultant and Project Manager at LightCastle Partners.
The study projected the per capita fish consumption of Bangladesh to grow to 23.1 kg/ per day by 2025 from 21.8 kg /day in 2019, facilitated by a projected growth in fisheries production to 5.67 million MT by 2024, signifying an annual production growth of 5.2%.
But Covid-19 has greatly disturbed the fisheries market, increasing its consumption while also increasing prices of fish feed drastically, said a media release.
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Farms faced increased loss due to delayed harvest, markets are still volatile due to repercussions of supply chain disruption, local demand increased, shrimp export plummeted and seed prices increased, the study said, calling for taking necessary steps.
Riaz Hamidullah said, “Time is indeed ripe for the Dutch actors to engage in Bangladesh as we strive to scale higher as a key aquaculture powerhouse”.
The study identified a lack of quality seeds, poor animal health, low availability of high-quality feed, post-harvest loss and less-developed cold chain facilities among some of the critical bottlenecks of the sector.
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The study also presented opportunities for Dutch stakeholders in the aquaculture sector ranging from facilitating training programs, setting quality and regulatory protocols, expanding use of improved technology, and technical assistance in the identification and prevention of diseases.
The report contended that Dutch stakeholders can also support the sector’s growth by investing in agro-logistics, building cold chain solutions, and strengthening capacity throughout the value chain by providing technological, business development, and knowledge-sharing support.
The study’s outcome will be to help match and connect Bangladeshi and Dutch partners to act upon the study’s recommendations and jointly address the sector bottlenecks to achieve the full potential of Bangladesh’s aquaculture sector.