Dutch investors are urged to invest in the aquaculture sector of Bangladesh for steady growth and diversification as the country faces trouble in the sector due to the Covid-19 situation.

On behalf of the embassy 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 on Wednesday, to disseminate the study’s findings, said a release on Friday.

Harry Verweij, Netherlands ambassador to Bangladesh, and Riaz Hamidullah, Bangladesh ambassador to the Netherlands, spoke on the occasion.

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/year by 2025 from 21.8 kg /year 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 situation has adversely affected the fisheries market of the country, increased its consumption and prices of fish feed drastically.

The study identified the lack of quality seeds, poor animal health, low availability of high-quality feeds, post-harvest loss and less-developed cold chain facilities among some of the critical bottlenecks of the sector.

It also presented opportunities for Dutch stakeholders in the aquaculture sector of Bangladesh ranging from facilitating training programmes, 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 help match and connect Bangladesh and Dutch partners to act upon the study’s recommendations and jointly address the sector’s bottlenecks to achieve the full potential of Bangladesh’s aquaculture sector.

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