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Title: Prospects of doing agro-business in Bangladesh

INTRODUCTION: Agro-business is a system of interconnected and strongly knit stages in the life cycle of an agricultural consumer product.  It encompasses all operations involved in the production of farm inputs, the use of these farm inputs in the cultivation of crops or raising of livestock, the various handling and processing of agricultural commodities, and the transfer of these commodities to the consumers.  The achievement of a successful agricultural business enterprise needs logistics, coordination, financing, manpower, technology, information, policies and programs, incentives and other services. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) operates a section devoted to Agribusiness Development (AGS: Agribusiness development) which seeks to promote food industry growth in developing nations. Though, the term "agribusiness" most often emphasizes the "interdependence" of these various sectors within the production chain (Desmond, 2009).

DEFINITION OF AGRO-BUSINESS: Agribusiness denotes the collective business activities that are performed from farm to fork. It covers the supply of agricultural inputs, the production and transformation of agricultural products and their distribution to final consumers. In 1957, two Harvard Economists, Goldberg and Davis defined agribusiness as "the sum total of all operations involved in the manufacture and distribution of farm supplies; production operations on the farm; and the storage, processing and distribution of farm commodities and items made from them (Geoffrey R. Dixon, 2014)." It includes agrichemical, breeding, crop production, distribution, farm machinery, processing and seed supply as well as marketing and retail sales.

AGRO-BUSINESS IN BANGLADESH: Bangladesh is a densely populated agro based developing country in South Asia with large a population base (about159 million), living in a small land area covering only about 55 thousand square miles, and having the highest population density in the world. Bangladesh’s per capita income is USD 1466. The country is primarily an agriculture-based country with a large proportion of population formally and informally depending on this sector for food, income, employment, and livelihood. Bangladesh depends heavily on agriculture, but the prospects and potentials for agribusiness for this country is yet to be adequately understood, studied, and its enormous potential explored. This sector is at best in an emerging but nascent stage of development. Bangladesh cannot sustain long-run macroeconomic stabilization and economic progress without having a strong agricultural sector accompanied by a dynamic agribusiness sub-sector.

 

Figure: Requisites of Modern Business

 

TANGAIL, AT A GLANCE:Tangail is situated in the central region of Bangladesh. The subdivision of Tangail was established in 1870. It was turned into a district on 1 December 1969 (Mia, March, 1999). It consists of 11municipalities, 108 wards of these municipalities, 109 Union Parishads and 2516 villages. It is the largest district of Dhaka division by area and second largest by population (after Dhaka district). The population of Tangail zilla is about 3.6 million and its area is 3,414.28 km² (Bangladesh, 2011). The main rivers that cross the Tangail district are the JamunaDhaleshwariJhenaiBangshiLouhajang, Langulia, Elongjani, Jugni, Pungli, Fotikjani and the Turag. Tangail has a tropical climate. In winter, there is much less rainfall than in summer. The temperature here averages 25.5 °C and 1872 mm of precipitation falls annually (GoB, 2011). Agriculture is the main occupation of the tangail district. About 49.53% of people are involved with agricultural activities. The main fruit products are mangosjackfruitbananaslitchis, and pineapples. Other sectors, such as fisheries (446), dairies (189), weaving, industries and poultry farms (538) are developing in the Tangail district.

It was already indicated that agribusiness is a complex, system of input sector, production sector, processing manufacturing sector and transport and marketing sector. Therefore, it is directly related to industry, commence and trade, Industry is concerned with the production of commodities and materials while commerce and trade are concerned with their distribution.

 

 Industry:  Industry refers to the processes of extraction and production of goods meant for final consumption or use buy individual or buy another industry for its production.

Types of industries:  The industries are broadly classified into following types. 

  1. Extractive industries: These industries are concerned with the extraction; and utilization of natural resources like fishing, fruit gathering, agro-based industries, forestation etc.
  2. Genetic Industries: These industries include breeding of plants, seeds, cattle breeding farm, fish hatcheries, and poultry farms like intensive agriculture is possible with greater amount of capital and larger number of workers.
  3. Manufacturing Industries: These industries are engaged in the conversion of raw material or semi finished goods produced in the extractive industries like cotton textile industry, spinning and weaving mills etc.

THE PROSPECTS OF DOING AGRO-BUSINESS IN MY DISTRICT:

At present agri-business may involve either an input or a product or service and encompasses items such as: productive resources; agricultural commodities; and facilitative services. There is huge agribusiness potentiality. I think following agribusiness can run easily in my district.

  1. Banana orchard: According to the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), banana growers are cultivating only three or four varieties such as Shagor, Sharbi, Chini champa and Madni. Highland is suitable for the cultivation of the fruit. Modhupur, Ghatail and Shakhipur this three hilly upazilas  are popular for banana production. Especially Modhupur Upazila produces 50 per cent of banana against the district's production target. This year DAE, Tangail, has fixed 6519 hectares of land for banana cultivation with the production target of 1,10,638 tonnes (correspondent t. , Jun 18, 2016). 
  2. Pineapple Cultivation: Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) said Madhupur Garh region produces over one lakh tonnes of the delicious fruit a year and 18800 acres of land have been brought under pineapple cultivation in Tangail this year of which 16676 acres in Madhupur upazila (correspondent, 4 September, 2016).
  3. Organic Fertilizer Production: Organic fertilizer production has now become a major component of agro-business models across the country with a very low initial investment. An entrepreneur can start this business with the proper know-how of the production process.
  4. Fertilizer Distribution Business: Every year huge amount of vegetables is produced in Tangail district. So, it can be a profitable business in our district.
  5. Poultry Farming: Poultry farming is the fastest growing sector in agriculture and farming business. Now a days poultry has high demand in our country. I think there is favourable environment to run poultry farming business.
  6. Fish Farming: Commercial fish farming business is a lucrative investment that can spin money at any time of the year continuously.
  7. Fruit juice-Jam-Jelly Production: Fruit juice-jam-jelly production business has the huge market opportunity. Most important thing is the production process is not that complex and can be initiated small-scale basis.
  8. Fish Hatchery: A fish hatchery is a place for artificial breeding, hatching and rearing through the early life stage of finfish and shellfish in particular. As fish fry requirement is increasing day by day in whole country and there are lot ponds in Tangail so it has a good prospect in our district.
  9. Medicinal Herbs Farming: Growing medicinal herbs commercially are one of profitable agriculture business ideas. Having sufficient land and knowledge about the herbs marketing, an entrepreneur can initiate medicinal herbs farming with moderate capital investment.
  10. Dairy Farming: Commercial dairy farming is one of the most profitable agriculture business ideas. Apart from milk, it produced a quantity of manure. There is a tremendous potential for increasing the milk production through profitable dairy farming.
  11. Certified Seed Production: Seed certification is a quality assurance system whereby seed intended for marketing is subject to official control and inspection. To initiate this business you don’t have any requirement of land, just start the venture by contract farming.
  12. Agriculture Consulting: Agriculture consulting requirement is surely expected to grow with coming days. People with experience and knowledge in a specified field of farming activity can consider offering consulting services to organizations and farmers.

THE CHALLENGES OF DOING AGRO-BUSINESS IN MY DISTRICTS:

Agro-business collectively associated with the production, processing, and distribution of agricultural products. In these process of agro-business my dristict faces following setbacks:  

  • Lack of soft loan to agribusiness;
  • Electricity shortage during Boro rice production;
  •  Under developed infrastructure;
  •  insufficient subsidy to the farmers;
  •  Transportation system and communication system is not well developed;
  • Huge number of intermediary in the marketing system;
  •  Lack of technical knowledge of the enterprenure;
  •  Insufficient preservation system of agricultural products;
  • Insufficient technology transfer;
  • Weaknesses of critical and complementary inputs;
  •  Lack of easy access to financing, especially from financial institutions (both public and private banks and specialized institutions);
  •  Rampant corruption of various institutions related to agribusiness;
  • Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC), became crippled due to poor governance, inadequate funding and rampant corruption;
  •  Lack of marketing and managerial skills to explore global markets;
  • Indiscriminate use of chemical fertilizer reducing soil fertility;
  • High level of post-harvest loss (10-38%);
  • Inadequate cold storage facility for vegetables; and
  • Lack of packaging facility to meet up international standard.

 

THE CRUCIAL ROLE OF AGRO-BUSINESS IN SUCCESSFUL POVERTY REDUCTION IN MY DISTRICT:

Agribusiness is a commercial activity engaged in as a means of livelihood or profit.  As such, like any commercial enterprise, agribusiness is expected to make money, or create desired impact and also reduces poverty. The crucial role of agro-business in poverty reduction is stated below:

  1. Creates employment opportunity for the general people;
  2. Ensures food security for the people;
  3. Establishes manufacturing factories and service sectors;
  4. Provides raw materials for fast growing industries;
  5. Creates a opportunities of competitive labor markets;
  6.  

CONCLUSION: As a field of study, agribusiness is both an art and a science of managing an agricultural business enterprise.  The programs for the study of agribusiness provide an in-depth understanding of the industries that produce, process, and distribute agricultural products.  It studies the different sectors starting from the production unit (e.g. farms) to the ultimate consumer.  Interrelationships of the different sectors involved in the production of agricultural commodities are studied; including regional, national, and international interdependencies of the agricultural sector.

 

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

AGS: Agribusiness development. (n.d.). Retrieved October 20, 2016, from WWW.Fao.org.

Bangladesh, G. O. (2011). Census. Dhaka: Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics.

correspondent. (4 September, 2016). GROWTH HORMONE ON PINEAPPLE IN MADHUPUR,Pineapple losing its charm. Dhaka: www.theindependentbd.com.

correspondent, t. (Jun 18, 2016). Growers in Tangail cash in on banana cultivation. Dhaka: www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com.

Desmond, J. W. (2009). Toward Better Defining the Field of Agribusiness Management. International Food and Agribusiness Management Review , Volume 12, Issue 4.

Geoffrey R. Dixon, D. E. (2014). Horticulture: Plants for People and Places, Volume 3: Social Horticulture. Heidelberg, New York, London: Sringer Dordrecht.

GoB. (2011). Tangail District table: C01. Dhaka: BBS.

Mia, D. S. (March, 1999). Education in Tangail. Tangail Forum , pp. 26–27.

 

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