Dr Jagot Chand Malaker
"God has made the Earth, but the Dutch has made Holland." The Netherlands is a beautiful country situated between Belgium and Germany in Western Europe. The North Sea, located to the north and west of the Netherlands, is continually battering the land. The North Sea would have washed away the Netherlands if the Dutch had not erected defenses to protect their land. Over the centuries, the Dutch have built series of canals, dams, dikes, and pumping stations to keep the sea and rivers back. Today more than 2,400 kilometers of dikes shield the low, flat land almost half of which lies below sea level from the North Sea. Without the existing dikes 65 percent of the country would be flooded daily. Reclamation of land from the sea through dikes has continued through recent times. So, we can learn lesson from them and coastal areas of our country could be very potential areas for agricultural productivity.
Almost 80% of the world's flower bulbs come from the Netherlands. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Netherlands is the world's leading exporter of flowers, most of which are tulips. Around two billion tulips leave the country each year and travel to different destinations around the world. Now we are growing tulip very successfully hope in near future it would be one of the exportable items. Bangladesh has participated in the 7th International Horticulture Exhibition (Floriade Expo 2022) in Netherlands for the first time. Floriade Expo is a horticulture exhibition which has been held in the Netherlands. The expo takes place once every 10 years.This year it began on 14 April and will go on till 9 October 2022. Thirty two countries including Bangladesh have taken part in the exhibition. The theme of the expo this year is "Growing Green Cities". Netherlands keeps innovating to make its cities, villages, and everything in between, greener and more sustainable. It is deeply embedded in our DNA to find new and improved solutions in our battle against climate change and to create a thriving and healthy environment for future generations.
Our country is transforming subsistence agriculture to commercial agriculture so,Bangladesh will be able to present its success stories in agriculture to the world through Floriade Expo, honorable agriculture Minister Dr. Abdur Razzaque said. The government is making the best of its efforts to increase agricultural exports to foreign countries, honorable agriculture Minister Dr. Abdur Razzaque further said. "We believe that the participation will raise the country's dignity and respect to a new level," he added.
According to honorable agriculture minister Dr. Abdur Razzaque, ACI, Pran Group, Hashem Foods, Square Foods, Globe Pack Foods, Bangladesh Fruits, Vegetables and Allied Products Exporters and some other private companies from Bangladesh have participated in the exhibition besides government organizations.
He said a representative team has been formed comprising members from government and non-government bodies to ensure successful participation. The honorable minister said Bangladesh is projecting its own innovations and green solutions to the world, which creates opportunities for the country to brand its agricultural products in global market. He said around 700-1200 visitors are coming to the Bangladesh pavilion every day, which have shown keen interest in the Bangladeshi products and praised the aesthetic beauty of the pavilion. Dr. Razzaque said the participation in the expo will help Bangladesh become a member of the prestigious International Association of Horticulture Producers (AIPH). The expo is being held in the city of Almere, Netherlands on a 60-hectre land. Bangladesh was allotted the plot no. 101 beside the Dutch pavilion. The 1000-square metre pavilion is constructed on 18 petals of the national flower water lily and uses mostly jute products and fibre.
The father of the nation Bangabandhu had a strong dream to establish Bangladesh which will be free from hunger and poverty and to revive the Bangla as Sonar Bangla. After the independence, the leader took revolutionary steps for reformation of the agricultural sector of the country. Bangladesh achieved self-sufficiency in food crops production. The annual rice production is 34.71Million MT. Bangladesh exported 346.25 million USD agro products including fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen food items, spices, aromatic rice, dry foods, stuff, flowers, seeds, live trees, etc., to various EU countries in FY 2020. Farmers of our country are the main contributor of our resilience food systems. Regarding production farmers played vital role to feed us as well as whole nation.
Bangladesh's Position in the world ranking
3rd in Rice Production,2nd in Jute production ,1st in Jute Export, 3rd in Vegetable Production, 3rd in Onion Production, 4th in Tea Production, 8th in Potato Production, 7th in Mango Production, 8th in Guava Production,28th in Fruit Production,1st in Crop Variety
Floriade Expo 2022
Floriade is a world horticultural exhibition that takes place in the Netherlands only once a decade. It is the 7th time that the exhibition is held in the Netherlands, this time at a beautiful location in Almere. Dutch horticulture brings the theme 'Growing Green Cities' to life in collaboration with national and international participants at the Expo. Be amazed at the Expo by all kinds of green innovations make cities more fun, livable and sustainable.
Growing Green Cities
Amsterdam ranks as one of the most eco-friendly cities.Horticultural Exhibition Floriade will show you just how rich the art of gardening is, and how essential horticulture is to sustainability and livability. Every ten years all the horticultural experts from around the world come together at Floriade to present green solutions to make our cities more enjoyable, beautiful and sustainable. This year with the theme 'Growing Green Cities', more than 400 national and international participants showcase their latest green innovations, solutions and applications.Floriade Expo 2022 is more than just a day out. In addition to the Expo that takes place in Almere this year, they have an extensive knowledge programme. Solutions for making cities greener, healthier and more fun. They aim to bring governments, businesses, scientists, education, exhibitors and visitors of the Expo together to share knowledge and work towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.
Bangladesh persists very nice natural resources like clear sun light, fertile soil, seasonal variations, rainfall, coherent temperature for agricultural production and no significant stress of climate. Recently we are very successfully growing high value crops eg. Dragon fruits, Malta, Orange, Cashew Nut, Coffee, Melon, Tulips etc. Now many Agro products including fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen food items, spices, aromatic rice, dry foods, stuff, flowers, seeds, live trees, handicrafts etc are exporting. Here private sector should come forward. During the production period of vegetables and fruits due to low market price and lack of well communicated transport facilities and cool storage facilities, huge amounts fresh vegetables are damaged. So attention should be given to save fresh vegetables fruits. So process industry should be developed and also create the export opportunity. Also Netherlands can import different fresh vegetables, fruits and frozen items (Ready Bread/ Rooti, different types of cakes, somocha, singara, green mango, jute leaves, processed food items (puffed rice, chips, candy, mango bar, fruit juice, spices from Bangladesh and NL can re-export these items to different countries of EU.
Therefore, we may need from NL practical training support to develop efficient & competent lab staff. We have to ensure good agricultural practices (GAP) and traceability in the production levels to get safe and resilience food systems as well as safe exportable items of agricultural products. During production we have to produce through producer groups, ensure GAP and ensure traceability also improve packaging systems. If we fulfill all criteria there have another scope to reach Netherlands' (NL) market, because huge amounts agro products imported by NL and NL re exports to other countries. So, Private sector should come forward to boost exports of agro products of Bangladesh. By the participating this floriade expo 2022 we can show our potential areas of agricultural innovations and attract them our success of in the field of agriculture also explore potential innovations of participating countries for Bangladesh. By showing our exportable items and also ensure them it is safe. Honorable agriculture Minister Dr. Abdur Razzaque said and hope that by the participation in the expo will help Bangladesh become a member of the prestigious International Association of Horticulture Producers (AIPH). Expo has given us scope, together to share knowledge and work towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.
Dr Jagot Chand Malaker is a Project Director, Department of Agricultural Extension, Khamarbari, Dhaka.