The inauguration of a special cargo slated for Singapore, Malaysia, and the United Arab Emirates marked a key milestone in the country’s drive to enhance potato exports on Sunday.

Md Nasiruzzaman, the Agriculture Secretary, was the principal guest at the inauguration celebration in Pairabandh, Mithapukur, Rangpur, according to an FAO press release. The Director-General (in-charge) of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) was a special guest.

Despite significant and growing global demand, according to BSS, Bangladeshi potato growers typically fail to export their produce due to a lack of quality control, limited cold storage facilities, and limited access to foreign customers.

Bangladesh produces over 11 million tonnes of potatoes each year, but only a small portion is exported. While domestic potato consumption has been stable, exports have been dropping in recent years, despite increased output, leaving many farmers unable to sell their excess.

FAO has been aiding farmers in increasing their income by cultivating potatoes exclusively for export markets in order to take advantage of this export opportunity.

The FAO’s Missing Middle Initiative (MMI) programme provides training, inspection, and post-harvest assistance to sixty farmers from three cooperatives, more than half of whom are women.

The farmers planted three varieties of potato to appeal to the export market, and the Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation provided them with high-quality seeds (BADC).

Officials from the Bangladesh Potato Exporters’ Association (BPEA) met smallholder potato farmers for the first time at a buyer-seller conference organized by FAO. The BPEA then communicated with overseas buyers to obtain specifications and orders.