Bangladesh’s potato exports have fallen 33 per cent in the first five months of this year compared to the same period in 2012.
This drop presents a considerable setback to the industry given that the majority of potato exports occur during this period.
Exports were valued at BDT400m (US$5.17m) this year, down BDT200m (US$2.59m) from 2012’s BDT600m (US$7.76m).
While last year’s total exports comprised BDT810m (US$10.48m), the industry concedes they are unlikely to see these kind of figures again this year.
The situation, which has caused heavy losses and order cancellations, has been blamed on transportation problems caused by political instability in the region this year.
These transportation issues have primarily included delays on roads within the country caused by strikes and road blockades.
The delays have proved devastating to perishable items such as the potato.
This has subsequently led to an oversupply in the domestic market, causing potato prices there to drop.
However, industry experts have posited that this year’s disappointment will see growers move away from potato production and only traditional potato growers remain in the industry.
They believe this will result in better quality and a more stable industry.