Indian food processing machinery manufacturers are eying good business in Bangladesh as the latter's agro food processing industry is thriving with each passing year.
Annual sales of processed agricultural food amounts to around $2.5 billion with growth averaging 8 percent for the past 10 years as local consumption is growing, according to industry insiders.
Around 70 Indian companies are taking part in a three-day "7th BAPA FoodPro International Expo 2019" at International Convention City Bashundhara.
Saif Ali Sayed, sales engineer at the Lithotech Food and Spice Machinery, said they have over 40 clients in Bangladesh, most of whom were expanding production.
"So the companies are purchasing machinery and equipment from our company," he claimed.
Rahul Kothari, director of Pakona Engineers of Mumbai, has been taking part in the fair for the past five years. He said they supplied packaging machines to big food processors in Bangladesh including Pran, BD Food and Olympic.
Besides, the number of clients are increasing every year, he said.
Agro processors say export of their food products would cross the $1 billion mark by 2021 and the country has bright prospects in the sector.
"We are on way to increase our export from agro-processed foods thanks to government support and initiatives," said AFM Fakhrul Islam Munshi, president of Bangladesh Agro-Processors' Association (Bapa), while addressing the fair's launching.
He said the size of the processed food market now stands at around $2.5 billion.
Bapa consists of 300 members who shipped around $400 million-worth products last fiscal year. According to Bapa, Bangladesh exports agro-processed foods to 144 countries.
Bapa and the Rainbow Exhibition & Event Management Services jointly organised the fair where agro and food processing machinery are being displayed to familiarise local food processors with modern technologies.
A total of 300 companies from home and abroad are participating in the show that would remain open to visitors from 11:00am to 7:00pm.
Addressing the programme, Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzak said the government would purchase six lakh metric tonnes of paddy directly from farmers this Aman season. He said the authorities were preparing a farmers' list up to the union level for a lottery so that none gets deprived.
Razzak assured cooperating with the agro processors to boost export.
Presided over by Ahsan Khan Chowdhury, chairman of the fair committee, the event had speakers including Bishwadip Dey, acting Indian high commissioner to Bangladesh, Syeda Sarwar Jahan, chairman of Bangladesh Food Safety Authority, Robert Douglas Simon, country representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization, and FH Ansary, managing director of ACI Agribusiness.