With the European Union (EU) lifting the ban after a lapse of six years and eight months, the export of Bangladeshi betel leaf has resumed to European market today.
The first shipment will leave Bangladesh for the United Kingdom today with about a ton of betel leaf.
“The exporters are hoping to regain its lost market of the products” said Agriculture Minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque while inaugurating the export activities at a programme held at Central Packing House, Shyampur in Dhaka today.
The commerce ministry and Bangladesh Fruits Vegetables and Allied Products Exporters Association (BFVFAPEA) arranged the programme, said a press release issued by the agriculture ministry.
The chewing items more known as paan contains many curative and healing benefits in addition to a delicious and popular chewing items for the people of Asia , particularly Bangladesh, India , Nepal and Pakistan.
On February 2014, the EU imposed a ban on betel leaf import from Bangladesh amid getting presence of salmonella bacteria in some of its consignments and the ban continued until the latest permission of the Union on April 15, 2021.
The agriculture minister said there is vast potentiality for export of agricultural products and initiatives are being taken to increase the export of other agricultural products to developed countries including Europe to take advantage of that prospect.
The implementation of Good Agricultural Practice Policy (GAP) has already started in the country, he added.
Razzaque said joint efforts of both the government concern agencies and private sector helped farmers adopting modern farm techniques to produce salmonella-free safe betel leaf and efforts will have to be continued so that exports wouldn’t be hampered.
Before the ban, Bangladesh exported 13,000-19,000 tonnes of betel leaf annually, the release added.
Abu Hossain Babla, MP, senior secretary to agriculture ministry Mesbahul Islam, senior commerce secretary Dr Md Zafar Uddin, BVFAPEA President S M Jahangir were among others also spoke on the occasion.