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A Dutch-Bangladeshi consortium and the Ministry of Fisheries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop a framework for technology exchange and collaborative business in aquaculture: FoodTechBangladesh.
This project has been developed and managed by Netherlands-based Larive International together with its Bangladesh-based subsidiary LightCastle Partners and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Dhaka.
Khondoker Mahbubul Haque, General Director of the DoF, and Matthias J. Brienen, Director of the Dutch consultancy Larive International, signed the MoU at the DoF conference room on behalf of their respective parties, explained in the press release.
According to the MoU, the signatories will support the implementation of the four-year FoodTechBangladesh project, which seeks to improve the productivity of the country’s shrimp and fish farms. Technology, knowledge transfer or training are some of the areas that will be worked on.
In addition, fish farmers are also an important part of the project. Thus, staff members, including field extension agents, will be trained in the latest aquaculture technologies and farming practices.
In the meeting, the General Director of DoF, said that “through this collaboration, we share the common goal. Strengthening the technical capacity of our extension personnel and disseminating effective technologies and sustainable farming practices to our farmers”.
“There is an opportunity to support the fish and shrimp hatchery operators and farmers in Bangladesh by transferring Dutch expertise and farming technologies.” Claims Matthias Brienen.
The consortium also involves Aftab Bahumukhi Farms Ltd, Gemini Sea Food Ltd, Nutreco and Viqon.
New centers of excellence
Supported by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Bangladesh, three Centers of Excellence (demonstration farms) will be created. The areas under the FoodTechBangladesh project will be Sylhet, Khulna, and Cox’s Bazar under the
The Centers will focus on spreading technologies and best practices to farmers to enhance shrimp and fish production while guaranteeing international food safety standards.
In addition, the MoU will upgrade an aquaculture feed production line in Dhaka. The idea is to increase the supply of specialized feed for domestically farmed shrimp and reduce the cost of maintaining the quality of the feed.
The collaboration will facilitate a framework for joint investments and entrepreneurial activities between the Dutch and Bangladeshi private aquaculture sectors.
About Bangladesh aquaculture
Today, 3.57% of the total GDP and 26.50% of the agricultural GDP come from the fishing sector. Around 20 million Bangladesh people work in this sector. So, the development of the sector could reach the top with innovations.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Bangladesh’s fisheries are diverse. There are about 795 indigenous species of fish and shrimp in fresh and marine waters. However, the most common for farming are Indian and exotic carp, brackish water giant tiger shrimp, and giant river shrimp between fresh and salt water.
The aquaculture production systems are mainly extensive and extended extensive, with some semi-intensive and rarely intensive systems. Although culture fisheries contribute more than 55% of inland fisheries production they cover only about 11% of the total resources.
Therefore, Bangladesh’s major problem is its population and the environment in which the industry operates. On the one hand, Bangladesh is a densely populated country with large water resources, which means that it can export, but needs a large supply of fish. On the other, markets are often unhygienic, unscientific, dirty, and operate with deficient management systems. Approximately 97% of inland fish production is marketed domestically for domestic consumption, while the remaining 3% is exported.
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