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Govt focuses on food processing industry to hit export market: PM

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She said Bangladesh has been able to increase the production of crops, fruits, vegetables, egg, fish and meat through regular research


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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said her government is prioritising the food processing industry to boost export of food items alongside meeting the growing domestic demand.


"If we can add value to food items by processing these, we'll be able to export the items alongside meeting the demand in our country. Now the local market is expanding as the purchasing capacity of people has increased," she said while laying the foundation stone of Ghorashal Palash Urea Fertilizer Factory in Narsingdi.

She unveiled the foundation stone of the Tk 10,461-crore project, joining a function from her official residence Ganobhaban through a videoconference. Others concerned were connected with the event from Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the capital and the fertilizer project site in Narsingdi.

Besides, the PM opened four other development projects, including the newly constructed 14-storey head office Bhaban of Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) in the city's Tejgaon industrial area, from the same function.

Sheikh Hasina said the government is paying special attention to the development of the agro products and food processing industry as Bangladesh has gained a huge success in agricultural production.

She said Bangladesh has been able to increase the production of crops, fruits, vegetables, egg, fish and meat through regular research.

"So, we are taking various steps for it (to develop the food processing industry)," said the prime minister.

She said steps have been taken for developing the manpower appropriate for the 4th industrial revolution in the country.

The National Industrial Policy-2021 was finalised and Tk4,065 crore was allocated against 33 projects under the Industries Ministry in the 2021-22 fiscal year, she added.

Hasina said the contribution of industries to the GDP is now some 35% due to her government's policy and programmes.

She said the government is working to expand the environment-friendly industries across the country.

The protection of the natural environment has emerged as a very important issue for Bangladesh due to the climate changes, she added.

The premier said they have taken many measures for the development of Bangladesh since the formation of her government for the second time in 2009.

"I express gratitude to the people. Since they voted us in power time and again, we have been able to develop Bangladesh," she said.

The PM said the AL government has been able to raise the export income to $45,386 million in the 2020-2021 fiscal year from only $15,565 million in the 2008-2009 fiscal year.
Now Bangladesh exports 766 goods to 202 countries across the world, she said.

She said her government has been able to illuminate every house by bringing the 100% areas of the country under electricity coverage in the Mujib Year as per her commitment.

Hasina said the government turned the country into Digital Bangladesh, reached broadband connectivity to every union and sent Bangabandhu Satellite into space.

Talking about the urea project, she said the government took initiative to set up a new high-capacity, state-of-the-art, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly new fertilizer factory 'Ghorashal Palash Urea Fertilizer Factory' on the site of two old urea fertilizer factories at Ghorashal and Palash in 2014.

The new factory can produce some 2800 metric tons granular urea fertilizer a day. And the production of urea from carbon dioxide will be increased by 10% through the use of the latest technology, she said.

The prime minister extended her sincere thanks to the Japanese and Chinese governments for providing loan assistance for this fertilizer project.

Apart from BSCIC Head Office Bhaban, three other newly opened projects are 'Expansion of Madaripur BSCIC Industrial Estate' under BSCIC, 'Establishment of Tools Institute' under Bangladesh Industrial Technical Assistance Center (BITAC), and Establishment of LED light Assembling Plant under the Bangladesh Steel and Engineering Corporation (BSEC).

Hasina said the Tool Institute of BITAC will be instrumental in innovation of various machine and plant technologies with the help of indigenous technology. This will reduce the import of capital machinery and thus save foreign currency, she said.

"Our government is committed to providing local engineering support for foreign investment and creating new entrepreneurs in the light engineering sector," she said.

The PM said BSEC is currently manufacturing and marketing advanced, quality fluorescent tube lights, CFL bulbs, LED bulbs and LED tube lights.

"With the construction of LED Light Assembling Plant at the initiative of Eastern Tubes Limited under BSEC, its products will play an important role in saving energy," she said.

The prime minister uncovered a book titled 'Bangabandhur Shilpa Darshon and Shilpayane Uttaran' which was composed focusing on his industrial thoughts and philosophy.

The Tk10,461 crore Ghorashal Urea Fertilizer Project is being implemented by Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC) with the objective of attaining self-sufficiency in urea fertilizer.

Currently, two other factories -- Ghorashal Urea Fertiliser factory and Palash Urea Fertiliser Factory -- are annually producing 3.15 lakh metric tons.

BCIC Chairman Shah Md Imdadul Haque, in his welcome speech, said once the granular fertilizer factory goes into operation, the import of fertilizer will decline by up to 56 per cent. Bangladesh will require no import of urea fertilizer from 2025, he said.

BSCIC Bhaban

The 14-storey eco-friendly skyscraper for BSCIC Head Office was constructed at the cost of Tk 84 crore in order to ensure a better work environment and bring dynamism in the operation of the corporation.

The 126,900-sq feet multi-storied building will house the BSCIC head office, regional office and project offices. Solar system and rainwater harvesting system are there in the modern tower.

Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun, State Minister for Industries Kamal Ahmed Mojumder, Industries Secretary Zakia Sultana and Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Ito Naoki spoke at the function.



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