Bangladesh - Country Commercial Guide
Agriculture Sectors

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country.  Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2020-08-23

Overview

A rising middle class (estimated at over 30 million) has fueled demand for high quality agricultural products.  According to the Bangladesh Bank, in FY 2019-20, crops, livestock, fisheries, and forest products accounted for 12.43 percent of Bangladesh’s total GDP and employed approximately 40 percent of the total population.  Most agricultural production in Bangladesh is generated by traditional subsistence farming.  Bangladesh produces a variety of agricultural products such as rice, wheat, corn, legumes, fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, seafood, and dairy products.  Rice is the main staple in the Bangladeshi diet.  Lack of arable land and limited natural resources increase the importance of developing new agricultural technologies, such as heat, salt, and submergence tolerant and short duration seed varieties, to help increase productivity and meet future demand.  Cold-chain facilities are also required for Bangladesh to move up the value-chain in food production.  Floods, cyclones, and drought can also affect agricultural productivity levels and incomes.

Although Bangladesh imports bulk commodities such as wheat, soybeans, and pulses, there are niche segment opportunities for high-value agricultural product imports, particularly in more affluent urban centers such as Dhaka and Chittagong.  Strong consumer demand exists for imported fresh fruits, tree nuts, and dairy products, as well as processed food products.  U.S. cotton is valued by textile manufacturers due to its consistent quality and traceability, which is important for RMG producers seeking to avoid products tainted by human rights abuses.

Agricultural Production and Trade in Bangladesh

 

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020 (Estimated)

Total Local Production

$30,424

$33,374

$35,882

$38,095

$40,899

Total Exports

$1,488

$1,625

$1,418

$1,600

$1,342

Total Imports

$5,991

$9,470

$5,952

$8,000

$5,171

Imports from the U.S.

$496

$889

$1,087

$1,300

$1,056

Total Market Size

$34,927

$41,219

$40,417

$44,495

$44,728

Exchange Rates (BDT/USD)

79

81

82

84

85

(total market size = (total local production + imports) - exports)

Units: $ millions
Source: USDA, Bangladesh Bank

Leading Sub-Sector

The processed food industry accounts for approximately eight percent of all manufacturing output and employs two percent of the total work force.  The industry is dominated by small- and medium-sized enterprises strongly linked to local production.  Enterprises processing food suitable for export include those processing baked goods, confectionery items, fruits and vegetables, cereals, dairy goods, fruit juices, and various other foods and beverages. 

Opportunities

Agricultural equipment and technology; agriculture inputs, including feed, seeds, and fertilizer; dairy processing equipment; fish processing equipment; canning equipment and technology; agriculture infrastructure consulting services and solutions, including silos and cold chain/cold storage facilities.

Resources

Ministry of Agriculture

Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council

Ministry of Food

Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries

Ministry of Commerce