Pran, a food processor, has started exporting potatoes to Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, setting the export target for this year at 40,000 tonnes.
Around 4,000 tonnes of potatoes will be shipped to these three countries and bring the company about $760,000.
The rest of the potatoes will be exported to Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Hong Kong, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, according to a statement.
“We are exporting the vegetable as per the demand from the buyers of these countries,” said Md Mizanur Rahman, chief of export at Pran. “This is a new experience for Pran.”
The varieties of potatoes that are being exported include granula, diamond, asterix and courage, and those were sent through Chittagong port, he said.
Kamruzzaman Kamal, director of marketing at Pran-RFL Group, said: “We see huge opportunities in potato export, which will also help growers get fair prices.”
He said potato growers in the northern districts of Bangladesh faced troubles due to a lack of storage facilities following bumper production of the crop. “We have a plan to export various types of fresh vegetables as well,” he said.
The potatoes are grown by contract farmers of Pran in the northern districts, said Md Mahtab Uddin, chief operating officer at Pran Agro Business.
Collection and packaging of the potatoes were done following international standards, he said.
“We provided the farmers with quality seeds and fertiliser at low cost. We also offer buy-back guarantee to the farmers to encourage them to grow potato,” he said.
The company is now exporting its products to 124 countries.