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					AGRICULTURAL MARKETING
        SERVICES
   Ministry of Agriculture




Bhutanese Summer Vegetables
       in Bangladesh:
Prospects and the way forward




      Thimphu, Kingdom of Bhutan
               Dhaka, Bangladesh
                        July 2004
Summer vegetables in Bangladesh                1                  Agricultural Marketing Services



Executive Summary
The Agricultural Marketing Services of the Ministry of Agriculture with the close
collaboration of the Royal Bhutanese Embassy, Dhaka, organised a Trade Display of
Bhutanese Summer vegetables and fruit in Dhaka, Bangladesh, from 8-14 July. The
Display clearly demonstrated that there is a demand for certain Bhutanese summer
products.

The vegetables for which the demand is the highest are asparagus, French or round beans,
broccoli, the Bhutanese chilli, cauliflower, ginger, and tomato. The fruit that are in
demand at time of the year are peaches and plums.

These products are not readily available during the hot summer months in Bangladesh.
However, Bangladesh is increasing the range of products that it imports and these products
are well known in the market. Bhutanese farmers must be made aware that in order to
compete with these off-season imports and some local products, they must supply products
of the highest quality that have been harvested at the correct degree of maturity, have the
most careful attention paid to post harvest preservation, are properly graded, very carefully
packed, and then transported to the market in a refrigerated vehicle or container.

Bangladesh is a huge market with strong middle and upper income groups that are willing
to pay good money for their products but demand very high quality. A relationship has
been developed between the country’s prime supermarket chain, AGORA, and an importer
already experienced in working with Bhutanese products.

For the targeted products, the following prices were commonly observed in Dhaka at the
time of the Trade Display.

Product                           Average Dhaka prices


Asparagus                                    450
Beans – French runner                        170
Broccoli                                     420
Cauliflower                                  350
Ginger                                        85
Tomato                                        58

A careful analysis of the costs and revenues associated with the Trade Display were made.
The exercise involved a series of costs that growers are frequently not aware of. These
include the need for three lots of repacking along the journey from the grower’s farm to the
store in Dhaka, the need for three separate trucks, import taxes, the cost of obtaining
import and export documentation, margins for exporters and importers, deterioration in the
product, and the retailer’s margin. The analysis has shown that a series of economies can
be made, especially if a special refrigerated vehicle is used and the cold chain maintained
throughout the entire journey.

Taking all these costs and factors into account, in the opinion of the Ministry and Embassy
specialists, the nine identified Bhutanese vegetable and fruit can be successfully marketed
in Dhaka from the end of May to the end of August each year.



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1.      Introduction
As the strategic marketing plan for summer vegetables in Bhutan has made clear1, a trade
display is one of an initial series of step that lead to eventual exporting.

Opportunity was made of a trade display being conducted in Dhaka, Bangladesh in early
July for a Mission from the Ministry of Agriculture, Bhutan to attend.

The Mission comprised:
    Mr Chhime Tshering, Agricultural Marketing Services, Ministry of Agriculture.
    Mr Dorji Rinchen, Agricultural Marketing Services, Ministry of Agriculture. .
    Mr Grant Vinning, SNV Horticultural Marketing Specialist.

A large number of observations were made in the process of collecting, transporting and
displaying the products. From these observations, a series of lessons have been learned.
These lessons have been turned into recommendations for subsequent trail marketing and
full exporting.

At the same time, the Mission made use of the visit to Dhaka to undertake market research
in a number of areas.

This report deals with the activities.

The bulk of the report comprises observations, lessons learned, and recommendations
made stemming from Trade Display.

It is gratefully acknowledge that funding for the Mission was drawn from the United
Nations Development Program’s contribution to the Rural Enterprise Development
Programme. Mr Vinning’s expenses were met by SNV’s contribution to the Program.




1
 Summer vegetables from Bhutan: high cool clean. A market development strategy. G S Vinning,
SNV Marketing Specialist, July 2004


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2.      Trade Display
A three day trade display of 16 vegetables and two fruit was held at AGORA Supermarkets
(see Appendix #1) in Dhaka, Bangladesh, from 8 – 10 July. The purpose of the display
was to launch the promotional theme “Summer Fresh from Bhutan”.

In addition to the fresh products, a series of product from Bhutan Agro Industries Limited
and honey were launched.

Actual contact details with AGORA were arranged through Mr Choni Dendup, Counsellor
(Commercial) of the Royal Bhutanese Embassy, Dhaka. Mr Dendup also organised;
    Refrigerated vehicle for transport from the Bangladeshi border with India
       (Burimari) to Dhaka.
    Cool store facilities in Dhaka.
    Contact with media for publicity on launch day.
    Documentation for the movement of product from India to Burimari in India.

Agricultural Marketing Services organised:
    Purchase of product, and its grading and packing.
    Transport to collection point (Thimphu).
    Transport to Phuentsholing.
    Transfer at Phuentsholing to Indian vehicle.
    All documentation through FCB.
    Transport to Burimari.
    Documentation within India.
    Grading and sorting in Dhaka.

Selection of product for the trade display was done through the mutual cooperation of
Agricultural Marketing Services and the Counsellor (Commercial).

The launch was done by the Ambassador to Bhutan, HE Dasho Jigme Tshultim in the
presence of the Mr Niaz Rahim, Managing Director, Rahimafrooz Superstores limited
(AGORA), representatives from the Unique Group, agents for BAIL, media, and
consumers. AGORA produced a Banner: “Royal Bhutan: fresh summer vegetables and
exotic food products” and “Royal Bhutan: summer vegetables and stone fruit from
Bhutan”. Agricultural Marketing Services produced a brochure under the tag Bhutan
Fresh that pointed out the benefits of dealing with Bhutan in general and Bhutanese fresh
products in general, and nine product profiles, including individual supply calendars, see
Appendix #2.

Because the Mission revolved around the launch of a trade display with the objective of
increasing public awareness of Bhutan and its potential to supply fresh, clean, and natural
products in the middle of the Bangladeshi summer, considerable effort went into
promotion. The Royal Bhutanese Embassy organised for more than 30 gift baskets
containing samples of Bhutanese products to be sent to various national leaders, members
of the diplomatic staff, leaders of business organisations, and members of the media (see
Appendix 3). The redness of the plums made them particularly attractive as gift items.
With the green peas, the whiteness of the cauliflowers, and purple of the brinjal, the
displays made a strong visual impact in terms of colour, size, and shape.




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2.1     Comments on trade display
Bhutan’s launch came a day after the Thai export development bureau’s launched its exotic
tropical fruit display. Given the greater financial strength of the Thais, their display was
more elaborate and thus in a more superior position within the store compared with that of
Bhutan.

Both the Thais and BAIL had demonstrators who assisted consumers with product
information and sampling. In the case of some of Thailand’s exotic fruit such as
mangosteen and rambutan, this activity was needed to actually promote the fruit as they
were quite unknown.


By the Saturday, the product was looking extremely flat. Given that by that stage most of
the product was seven days old such an experience was to be expected. There were a
number of exceptions:
     Beans – French type.
     Cabbage.
     Ginger.
     Passionfruit.
     Potato.

2.2             Assessment of trade display
It needs to be reminded that the activity at AGORA was a trade display and not a trial
marketing. From this perspective, the exercise must be considered a major success on
three fronts:
     Publicity generated for Bhutan’s clean environment in general and the two suites of
        products in particular.
     Lessons learned for future activity.
Generation of interest in importing selected vegetables and fruit from Bhutan.

     Publicity
The launch attracted considerable publicity, see Appendix #4.

It is considered that the theme developed in Thimphu, that is, the linking of Bhutan with
the production of summer vegetables for Bangladesh, has been well received. This will
provide a significant platform as the project moves beyond the display stage into trial
marketing and then full marketing.

Lessons learned
The trade display at AGORA provided the opportunity to observe some issues critical to
the eventual exporting of Summer Fresh products from Bhutan. From these observations,
recommendations have been developed to assist that stage.

The remainder of this report shall now concentrate on this phase.

2.3     Observations
Three basic observations can be made from the trade display that allow us to make
recommendations for future action:
     Products
     Length of marketing chain.

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       Pricing.

2.3.1           Products
An assessment of the Bhutanese products made available to the trade display takes two
forms:
    How did the Bhutanese product handle the journey from Bhutan to Dhaka.
    How do Bhutanese products compare with others in the market place.

The following vegetables were used in the trade display;
Asparagus             Beans – French               Beans – flat
Brinjal               Cabbage                      Cauliflower
Chillies – Bhutanese style                         Chillies – round type
Cucumber              Ginger                       Pea
Potato                Pumpkin                      Radish
Tomato                Zucchini

Turnips were taken to Dhaka but the sample so small that it was not displayed.

Two fruit were displayed; plums and passionfruit.

2.3.1.1         How did Bhutanese product handle the journey to Dhaka
The products were subjected to two levels of high stress:
    Time from picking to final display.
    Adverse storage conditions.

A calendar of the time involved is shown below:

Day                      Activity
Day # 1                  Farmers harvest and commence accumulation
Day #2                   Move to collection point at Thimphu
Day #3                   Pack and transport to Phuentsholing
Day #4                   Move to Burimari
Day #5                   Arrive into cool store Burimari
Day #6                   Trade display - Dhaka
Day #7                   Trade display - Dhaka
Day #8                   Trade display - Dhaka

The following is an assessment of the out-turn of the product after the eight days:

In terms of actual marketing as distinct from trade display, a trade period of three days is
considered to represent the three days usually required by retailers and end-consumers.




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Product                      Out-turn
Asparagus                    Poor out-turn. Losses around 50 percent
Brinjal                      Good out-turn. Losses less than 10 percent
Beans – French type          Excellent out-turn. Very little loss.
Beans – flat type            Average out-turn. Became very flat and dry. Actual rot
                             losses very low.
Chilli – round type          Average out-turn. Losses around 20 percent but these were
                             harvested well before the other product
Chilli – Bhutanese type      Good out-turn. Losses around 15 percent.
Cauliflower                  Poor out-turn. Losses around 30 percent. High incidence
                             of bruising and discolouration caused by rubbing as well as
                             high levels of rot.
Cucumber                     Average out-turn. Losses in the form of browning and thus
                             market unacceptability as distinct from actual rot. Around
                             50 percent.
Ginger                       Excellent out-turn. Very low loss, less than 5 percent.
                             Maintained bold appearance throughout the trade display.
Passionfruit                 Excellent out-turn. Very low loss. A problem is the
                             general unawareness that when the passionfruit is the most
                             visually unattractive, that is wrinkled and shrunken, is
                             when organoleptically they are most attractive as the
                             sugars are at their highest.
Pea                          Average out-turn. Became dry, actual losses low,
                             appearance poor.
Plum                         Good out-turn. Sample consisted of a mixture of full
                             colour, medium colour and breaking colour. Low loss of
                             around 15 percent.
Potato                       Excellent out-turn. Loss less than 5 percent.
Pumpkin                      Excellent out-turn. Loss less than 5 percent.
Radish                       Excellent out-turn. Loss less than 5 percent.
Tomato                       Poor out-turn. The sample consisted of a mix of green,
                             breaking and good colour. The green product did not
                             ripen, obviously picked too early. Total losses around 60
                             percent.

Lessons learned
The out-turn record suggests the following products can stand the eight days from harvest
to eventual consumption;
     Brinjal
     Beans – French
     Cabbage
     Chilli – Bhutanese type
     Ginger
     Plum
     Potato
     Pumpkin
     Radish




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2.3.1.2         Availability of other products
Visits to three local markets and two of other retailers were made in order to assess
availability of products at this time of the year.

Product              Availability
Asparagus            Only seen in two stores. Appears to have been air-flown in. Tightly
                     wrapped in cling film to keep in moisture.
Brinjal              Readily available in the green, purple, long, and round forms
Beans – French       Not commonly available.
Beans – flat type    Not commonly available.
Cabbage              White flat cabbage readily available.
Cauliflower          Available but not greatly so.
Chilli –             Not commonly available. Available ones were green coloured
Bhutanese style
Chilli – hot type    Not commonly seen.
Cucumber             Readily available. Most were white to light green and more visually
                     appealing compared with the Bhutanese product.
Ginger               Product from China available in stores and markets. Most product was
                     smaller than Bhutan’s and appeared to be more shrivelled and dried.
Passionfruit         Not seen.
Pea                  Not seen.
Potato               Readily available in stores and markets
Plum                 Only one other lot were seen. These were larger and much darker,
                     towards prune-like.
Pumpkin              Readily available. More common in markets than stores.
Radish               Yes but not commonly so. Thought there would have been more at Ko-
                     Market, the Korean store because of radish’s role in making the national
                     dish kim chi.
Tomato               Readily in stores and markets. Appeared excellent quality with full ripe
                     colour, evenly shaped and sized.

On the whole the product seen in the markets had a superior appearance to it. This could
have been due to the constant application of a fine spray. In contrast, the store product in
the main seemed flat.

A comparison of prices is provided in Appendix #5.

Lessons learned
Based on product availability, the products which Bhutan has a seasonal advantage are:
    Asparagus.
    French Beans (round type).
    Cauliflower
    Chillies – Bhutanese style
    Ginger
    Peas

The above analysis indicates, separately, what Bhutanese products can survive the journey
and with which products does Bhutan have a seasonal advantage.



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The analysis now turns to the second set of lessons observed during the operationalisation
of the trade display, that is developing an effective marketing chain.

2.4     Length of marketing chain
A detailed analysis of the marketing chain used to bring the product to Dhaka for the trade
display needs to be done in order to assess what action can be undertaken to reduce the
losses and costs noted above.

The marketing chain in the trade display exercise was considered unduly long. The chain
itself is presented below:

Step     Action             Comment
                            Action                Weight
                                                  (kg)
#1       Grower harvests                          100      Need to remove field heat
#2       Grower packs       Purchase of tokris    95       Grower to clean and grade
                            (bamboo baskets)
#3       Grower delivers    Transport             95       Appropriate transport
         to centralised
         collection
#4       Collection         Storage costs         95       To be cool / covered
#5       Pack for           Purchase of tokris,   90
         transport          rice straw for
                            insulation
#6       Transport to       Transport costs       90       To be at night to gain benefit of
         Phuentsholing                                     cool
#7       Transfer to        Handling costs        85       Has to be done before border gate
         Indian vehicle                                    shuts
#8       Documentation      Agent’s fee           85
#9       Transport to       Transport costs       85
         Burimari
#10      Border                                   85       Close on 5 hours were spent
         documentation                                     waiting. The vegetables were in
                                                           an unprotected vehicle. Luckily it
                                                           was raining and not blazing sun.
#11      Border Security                          80
         Force inspection
#12      Duty to enter                            80
         Bangladesh
#13      Clearance fees                           80
#14      Transfer to                              80
         Bangladesh
         vehicle
#15      Transport to                             80
         Dhaka
#16      Additional         Purchase of           80       To include percentage loss
         charges –          cartons                        associated with spoilage
         grading,
         repacking
#17      Storage charges                          80
#18      Transport to                             80
         store


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#19      Receival into                         70         Loss between 10 – 20 percent
         store
#20      Store mark-up      Average 30 %       70


Lesson learned
The implementation of a through cool-chain logistics will greatly reduce the losses and
costs noted above.

As the above demonstrates, 100 kg provided by the farmer results in an eventual sale of
just 70 kgs. this shows the critical role of the farmer in several regards;
     picking appropriate quality.
     ensuring appropriate on-farm post harvest preservation.
     ensuring appropriate on-farm packaging.

Bearing in mind that the final volume available for sale is only 60 percent of the initial
weight, the 70 kgs has to support the costs of the 100 kgs. If the farmer starts with too high
a price then the eventual loading onto the 70 kgs finally sold will result in a price just far
too high for the final consumers. Farmers must be conscious of the need to keep their
prices reasonable.

As stated the Counsellor (Commercial) made available a refrigerated vehicle for the
journey Burimari to Dhaka. Given that it took nearly five hours to finally clear the check-
point, this facility provided invaluable protection from the monsoonal heat and humidity.
If the same vehicle could have been made available at Thimphu, then two major issues
would have followed:
      Protected by an integrated cool chain, losses would have been much lower.
      Rehandling charges and associated damages at Phuentsholing and Burimari would
         have been eliminated, albeit there will be higher charges associated with the
         refrigerated vehicle.

It is also noted that the temperature set in the refrigerated vehicle was 8°C. Fr some
products this could have been too high and for others, too low.
At the same time within the vehicle there were products whose ripening process may have
accelerated the maturity of some but hindered it of others. Greater attention needs to be
paid to co-loading and temperature management.

2.5     Economic analysis
Having analysed the lessons from the trade display from the perspectives of (a) product (b)
cool chain logistics, the next step is to provide an economic analysis.

Two steps are involved:
   What are the cost lessons learned from the trade display.
   What are the revenue questions learned form the trade display.

Economic analysis on selected summer vegetables were constructed assuming that the
particular vegetable is transported in a fully loaded 3 MT capacity refrigerated truck. The
revenues and costs are based on the existing farm gate price (circa July 2004), retail prices
in supermarkets catering to the higher end of the Dhaka market, and other costs.
It is noted that the above analysis is based on fully loaded vehicles. When transporting the
produce from Thimphu to Phuentsholing, and from Phuentsholing to Burimari, the trucks

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were loaded to less than a third of their capacity. For the journey from Burimari to Dhaka
the truck was loaded o less than half of its capacity.

The greater the load, then the lower the per unit costs because the total cost, that is hire of
the vehicle, does not change. However, the temptation to maximise the load within the
vehicle in order to reduce per unit transport costs must be resisted. This is because vital
space is needed to ensure optimum air flow and thus optimum use of the refrigeration
facility.




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Table 1. Economic Analysis of Selected Summer Vegetables from Bhutan into Dhaka.
 Sl. No.                                  Items                                 Cauliflower     Asparagus           Broccoli     Beans (round type)   Chilli           Ginger      Tomato

I        Net Returns:
         Quantity (10-20% rejects)                                                 1920 kgs         1680 kgs         1680 kgs              2700 kgs     2250 kgs        2700 kgs    2400 kgs
          Retail Price (Nu./kg)                                                   Nu. 300/kg       Nu. 320/kg       Nu. 310/kg            Nu.110/kg    Nu.140/kg       Nu. 65/kg   Nu. 40/kg
         Total Returns                                                               576000           537600           520800               297000       315000          175500       96000
II       Cost:
         1. Material Cost:
         Commodity Quantity                                                          2400 kgs        2100 kgs         2100 kgs             3000 kgs          2500          3000         3000
         Farm gate price                                                            Nu. 25/kg       Nu. 50/kg         Nu.50/kg             Nu.15/kg      Nu.15/kg      Nu.40/kg     Nu.15/kg
         Cost of commodity                                                             60000          105000           105000                45000         37500        120000        45000
         Packaging cost (200 cartoon boxes @ Nu. 60/pcs))                              12000             7000             7000               12000         12600         12000          9000
         Other packaging materials                                                       2000            2000             2000                 2000          2000          2000         2000
         2. Labour Cost:
         Sorting, Grading and packaging cost at the Collection point                     800            1000              1000                  800              800        800         800
         Loading at Thimphu                                                              600             600               600                  600              600        600         600
         Loading and unloading at Burimari                                               300             300               300                  300              300        300         300
         3. Transportation cost:
         Thimphu to Phuntsholing                                                         7000           7000              7000                 7000             7000       7000        7000
         Phuntsholing to Burimari                                                        5000           5000              5000                 5000             5000       5000        5000
         Burimari to Dhaka                                                          12,000.00          12000             12000                12000            12000      12000       12000
         Cold storage to Store                                                           1000           1500              1500                 1000             1000       1000        1000
         4. Storage Charges:
         Cold Store Charges in Dhaka                                                    6000            8400              8400                 6000             6300       6000        6000
         5. Documentation Charges:
         Cost of documents                                                               355                355            355                  355              355        355         355
         Clearing Agent Charges at Burimari                                              800                800            800                  800              800        800         800
         6. Taxes:
         Tax (@ 33%)                                                                   19800           34650             34650                14850            12375      39600       14850
         7. Weight Loss:
         Value of weight loss (10-20%)                                                 12000           21000             21000                 6750          5625         18000        9000
Total Cost                                                                            139655          206605            206605               114455        104255        225455      113705
Gross Revenue                                                                         436345          330995            314195               182545        210745        -49955      -17705
         8. Importers and Retailers Margin (80%)                                      349076          264796            251356               146036        168596          Loss        Loss
Net Revenue                                                                            87269           66199             62839                36509         42149          Loss        Loss




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2.6 Recommendations
From the above observations of the operationalisation of the trade display and being
cognisant of the lessons learned from those observations, four suites of recommendations
can be made. Fr convenience, these are categorised as:
    Product.
    Preservation.
    Pricing.
    Program.

2.6.1           Product
       A three-phase market development strategy should be adopted:
    o   Phase #1 – balance of the 2004 season, that is July to September
    o   Phase #2 – the 2005 season, starting in May.
    o   Phase #3 – longer term exploration of product possibilities.

Phase #1        2004 Season
       Bhutan continues to supply in the immediate period, that is the balance of the 2004
        season considered to be July through to September , the following vegetables:
        o Beans – French.
        o Chillies – Bhutanese type.
        o Cauliflower.

Phase #2        2005 Season
     For the 2005 season, defined as the period May through to September, Bhutan put
      in place the systems needed to supply the following products:
      o      Asparagus.
      o      Beans – French type.
      o      Broccoli
      o      Chillies - Bhutanese type.
      o      Cauliflower.
      o      Peach
      o      Plums

Phase #3 – Longer term
Discussions should take place with the importer (see Program) as to products that he would
like to import and which Bhutan may be able to supply.

Other Product-based recommendations:
     Growers to lower their prices.
     Specific product recommendations include:
         o Asparagus:
                  Must be kept cold. Whilst iced - polystyrene boxes are the ultimate;
                    some method of retaining moisture has to be developed.
                  Stems to be long enough to allow frequent trimming that assist water
                    uptake that retains fresh appearance.
                  Trimming to be angled and not horizontal in order to maximise the
                    water uptake capability.

            o Beans – French. Stem to be retained and not cut.
            o Cauliflower:

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                       Crowns to be not more than 18 cm in diameter.
                       At least 5 cms of core be retained for final trimming before entering
                        store in order to convey a fresh whole image.
                       Methods to protect during transport to prevent rubbing to be
                        developed.
                       Ribs allowed.
                       Size to be around 500 g each.

2.6.2           Preservation
       Growers wishing to participate in subsequent steps, that is trial marketing and full
        exporting, should be made aware of the following principles:
             o The imperative needs to reduce field heat as soon as practicable after
                harvest. Simple use of farm-base streams could be employed.
             o The need to harvest as early in the day as feasible.
             o The danger posed by sun and the benefit of shade.
             o Enhanced on-farm graing.
             o Packaging to be more horizontal rather than vertical in order to reduce load
                crush.
       An immediate purchase be made of a refrigerated van comparable with what was
        used to convey the product from Burimari to Dhaka.
       The van should have lugs half way up on which horizontal dividers can be placed
        on which products can be stored in order to reduce the transport per unit costs but
        without crushing the bottom layers.
       Investigations to be made regarding the appropriate temperature settings relevant to
        the products that will be exported.
       Investigations should be made regarding appropriate co-loading of products.
       Investigations should be made into replacing tokres with other packaging medium.
       If these are deemed inappropriate, a more efficient tokre to be designed that has a
        more squat base and lower height in order to make greater use of floor space during
        transportation.

2.6.3           Pricing
       Agricultural Marketing Services should develop a detailed pricing schedule for all
        export destined products. These recommendations to be used as a basis for
        negotiations in final retail and other price settings in Dhaka.

2.6.4           Program
       The Unique Group be appointed as import agent.

       In the immediate future, Food Corporation of Bhutan be designated as the exporter
        with the eventual aim being to have exports conducted through the private sector.

       Agricultural Marketing Services act as the facilitator within Bhutan in the short
        term for the Unique group in this endeavour.

       For the balance of the 2004 season, the first trial marketing shipment occur by the
        end of August.

       Agricultural Marketing Services will develop a supply calendar that will be one of
        the basis of discussions with the unique group as to supply possibilities.


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       The Royal Bhutanese Embassy in Dhaka works with the Government of
        Bangladesh to remove the duty that Bhutanese products must pay to enter
        Bangladesh.

2.7     Immediate action
The following immediate steps are recommended:
    Detailed price profiles be developed as a basis for negotiation with the Unique
       Group.
    That Food Corporation of Bhutan be made the export agent and that it commence
       the preparation of the appropriate paperwork.
    That a detailed production availability profile be established for the three crops
       targeted for export for the balance of the 2004 season, that is Cauliflower, French
       beans and Bhutanese chillies.
    That detailed recommendations be sought for the three vegetables from the Post
       Harvest group regarding:
           o Optimum maturity for harvest
           o On-farm methods of reducing field heat.
           o Preferred temperature and humidity storage conditions.

     Grades be established for the three vegetables.
     Appropriate transport be arranged for the movement of the three vegetables.
     The Bangladeshi Ministry of Finance provide duty-free entrance status for the three
      vegetables.
     That the first commercial; trail shipment of the three vegetables commence by the
      second week of August, 2004.




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3.        Apples
3.1       Bangladeshi apple situation
Bangladesh’s apple imports have increased rapidly, albeit erratically in the ten years to
20022.

                             APPLES - Bangladesh. Import volume
                                   and value, 1992 - 2002
                             Tonnes                             US$ / kg

                         35000                                        0.6

                         30000                                        0.5
                         25000
                                                                      0.4
                                                                               Volume
                         20000
                                                                      0.3      Value
                         15000
                                                                      0.2
                         10000

                          5000                                        0.1

                              0                                       0
                                  1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002



In 2002 it imported 23 329 tonnes, the second highest level on record, at an average annual
CIF price of US$0.32 / kg, the second lowest price over the same period.

Bhutan
Bhutan’s share of the Bangladeshi market is declining in relative terms3.

                                  APPLES - Bangladesh. Bhutan's share
                                       of total imports: 1992 - 2001
                        Tonnes
                        35000

                        30000

                        25000

                        20000                                                Bhutan
                                                                             All Imports
                        15000

                        10000

                         5000

                             0
                                  1992   1994   1996     1998     2000

The data shows that the share in 2001, that is 4 percent, is the lowest over the nine years.



In terms of prices, Bhutanese apples receive a lower price than that of the average imports.



2
    Bangladeshi data drawn from the International Trade Centre’s Library, Geneva.
3
    Bhutanese data drawn from the trade data of the Ministry of Finance. Data only available up to 2001.

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                         APPLES - Bangladesh. Annual CIF prices
                         into Bangladesh: Bhutan and all sources.
                                       1992 - 2001
                  US $ / kg
                  0.6

                  0.5

                  0.4
                                                                   Bhutan
                  0.3                                              All Imports

                  0.2

                  0.1

                   0
                        1992      1994   1996    1998     2000

In 2001, the average was US$0.28 / kg whilst Bhutan received US$0.27 / kg. Except for
the 1996 season this is the narrowest gap over the nine years.

The following factors must be taken into account when comparing Bhutanese prices with
the average CIF prices:

       Bhutanese apples are favoured by duty-free entrance whereas other sources have to
        pay duties up to 65 percent. This means that other sources cost much more.

       Other sources arrive in at least 20’ and even 40’ containers. These must be stored
        with comparatively high storage costs. Bhutanese apples arrive in smaller loads,
        usually 7 tonnes and thus can be distributed without storage. This should mean an
        effective lower price for the Bhutanese products.

       In the principle period of supply for Bhutan, that is August – October, it is
        competing with a fresh product against cold-storage southern hemisphere supplies
        from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. This should favour Bhutanese
        products. Against this is the fact that it is competing with fresh Chinese products.

    In July 2004, the following prices were noted in the market place:

    South Africa
          o Golden Delicious                    taka 80 /kg
          o Red                                 take 90 /kg

    Chinese
          o Golden Delicious                    taka 90 /kg
          o Fuji                                take 90 /kg

Lessons
The above analysis clearly indicates that, despite its proximity to the Bangladeshi market,
export from Bhutan to Bangladesh is declining.


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There could be three suites reasons for this:
    The Exporters may be diversifying their market destination.
    Bhutan’s own production had declined and with this decline in gross production a
       lower volume is available for export.
    Bhutan is less competitive for reasons related to the likes of:
       o Pricing
       o Variety
       o Packaging
       o Entry point into the marketing chain.

However, there are several remedies to increase direct exports to Bangladesh.
   Reducing the marketing chain so as to protect the product against undue
     perishability and thus remain competitive against the cold stored products.
   Being price competitive.
   Improve packaging and final product presentation through the likes of waxing and
     socks.
   Making more frequent smaller loads so as to assist the final seller with lower
     storage costs.
   Working higher up the marketing chain that is more directly with end retailers.
   Adjusting production in terms of varieties, colour, shape and size.
   Internal efforts within Bhutan to boost production by addressing local production
     problems.

3.2     Mission visit
A visit was made to a delegation of the Bangladesh Fresh Fruit Importers Association at
Bhadamtoli, Dhaka.

The Dhaka importers stated that they would be importing apples in 2004 from Bhutan.
However as of yet they have not commenced negotiations with the exporters. This is
unfortunate, as they know the exporters and one would have expected that after 10 years of
a relationship would have been established that facilitated early negotiations.

With regard to Mandarin and produce from central and eastern Bhutan, the importers
requested the opening of another land port for Bhutan. The importers saw this action in
terms of reducing transport costs and providing another outlet apart from Bogra and
Dhaka. However this step is in accord with the lessons learned from the analysis of the
apple import data.

The site of Dalu / Nakugoan was specifically mentioned.

Mention was also made of the fact that at the border crossing at Changrabanda a line is
designated for the movement of just perishable products. However, often trucks with non-
perishable items get into this line and thus cause delay to the perishable products. Again,
this issue is in accordance with the lessons learned from the analysis of import data.

Maintenance of the dedicated perishable line should be brought up with the Indian
authorities as recommended.




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4.       Honey
Bhutanese honey was well received at the trade display.

The current agent for BAIL products has expressed a strong interest in being the agent for
such products.

He is interested in acquiring the following this year as the first consignment:
    100 cartons of large honey.
    100 cartons of small honey.

Recommendations
     The current BAIL agent be confirmed as the agent for BEEKAB.
     The Agent has expressed an interest in visiting Bhutan in August. All steps should
      be taken to assist his visit.
AMS ins discussion with BEEKAB to provide an indicative ex-Burimari price for the
Honey as soon as possible.

5.       Commercial Attaché
This Report has highlighted the critical role played by the Commercial Attaché, Royal
Bhutanese Embassy, Dhaka in organising the Trade Display at AGORA Supermarkets and
the associated coordination of logistic support like providing appropriate transport, cool
storage, import documentation and promotion.

For further promotion and development of the Bhutanese vegetable’s export market in
Bangladesh, the following further responsibilities of the Commercial Attaché are
identified:

        Within the Framework of the WTO and Bilateral Trade Agreement, continue to
         addressing the imbalance duty question of what Bhutan must pay for its products to
         enter Bangladesh that stands in stark contrast to the duty free admission that
         Bangladeshi products enjoy into Bhutan.

        Addressing the issue of reducing the cumbersome paperwork associated with
         exporting into Bangladesh.

        Works towards recommending and developing an alternate entry point in addition
         to Burimari.

        Continuous monitoring and addressing the issue of delays at the entry point of the
         perishable items.

        Maintenance of the momentum established during the Trade Display of Bhutan
         being a source of clean, safe, and healthy foods.

        Continue to befriend the press and be friendly with the press and to promote the
         Bhutanese products as “Fresh Summer Vegetables”.

        As and when required, act on behalf of the exporter as inspector especially relating
         to complaints on product that may have been deteriorated.

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Agricultural Marketing Services should do all it can to support the role of the Commercial
Attaché. This should include providing the office with all reports and data relevant to
agricultural marketing both those meaning from Agricultural Marketing Services as well as
others that AMS may become aware of.




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Appendix #1
AGORA Supermarkets
Previously, food was acquired from traditional retailers and municipal corporation markets.
These are now being replaced by western style convenience stores and supermarkets, see
below.

Store type             Features                                              Method of acquiring
                                                                             food
Roadside stalls.       Small – 30 – 100 sq.ft.                               Local wholesalers
                       Constitute 75 percent of food retail sales..
                       Heavily village based.
                       Typified by poor to nil refrigeration, limited
                       choice, long hours and bargaining.
                       Only imported product dealt with are very cheap
                       products from India (especially in the border
                       regions), Myanmar, and Thailand.
Municipal              In urban and semi urban areas.                        Local wholesalers,
corporation markets    Tend to specialise - fish, meat, fruit, vegetables.   importers.
                       Will trade in imported product.
                       Handle about 20 percent of food retail sales.
Convenience stores     In upper middle class urban areas.                    Importers and
                       Currently number around 250.                          distributors with
                       Clientele is upper middle class and upper class       competent storage.
                       Bangladeshis, and foreigners.                         Will top-up with local
                       Stock heavily imported foods, especially              supplies.
                       processed foods.
                       Constitute round 5 percent of food retail sales.
Supermarkets           Started to emerge about five years ago.               Importers and
                       Sector now comprises around 30 stores.                distributors with
                       About two thirds of these are in Dhaka.               competent storage.
                       Market less than one percent of food retail sales.

Convenience stores are rapidly emerging to service Bangladesh’s middle and upper classes
and the expatriate population associated with embassies, long term consultants, and various
international agencies.

The following is a list of convenience stores in Dhaka as far as we can construct. Clearly it
is not definitive.

Store                                     Comment
AGORA Rahimafrooz Superstores             Based in Dhanmondi
Dhali Super Store                         Based in Gulshan
Ettadi General Store
Family Need
Fortune City
Gulshan General Store                     Based in Gulshan
HNP Family Mart                           Based in Gulshan
Meena Bazar                               Based in Dhanmondi
Nandan Food and Beverage                  Based in Gulshan
OHIBA General Store                       Based in Dhanmondi

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One Stop Mall
Pick and Pay Superstore
Rajanigandha
Shop n Save                             This is a joint venture. It is possible that it is linked
                                        to Shop n Save of Singapore that in turn is linked
                                        with Delhaize le Lion of Belgium
Stop n Shop                             Based in Dhanmondi
Superfresh


AGORA
AGORA currently has two stores. Grant Vinning understands that there are plans to have
around 24 stores nation-wide by the end of 2010. The company is under the umbrella of
Rahimafrooz Group. The group is the market leader in the automotive and industrial
batteries and also has business interests in power supply, environmental cars etc.

Agora was first established at Dhanmondi two years ago and the Gulshan branch is a year
old. Agora followed the step of new trend of supermarket concepts introduced by others.
They believe that within 5 years supermarkets will dominate the shopping scenario as
happened in neighbouring countries. The philosophies of the company are to:
        - be highly customized
        - sell value-added products
        - sell ready to eat products
        - sell broad range of fresh produces


Each supermarket is around 7,000 sqft on one floor with parking attached. AGORA has its
own cold storage facilities with 7-10 freezers in each store.


Market information
The concept of the supermarkets is based on price for quality. Where possible AGORA’s
pricing policy is to sell at prices similar to local market prices. They sell a wide range of
products – ranging from speciality items, fresh produce available all the year round (eg,
mango) as well as high quality traditional sweets. They find that they cannot compete
with commodities or mainstream products easily available in the typical stalls and retail
outlets.


They have developed a system to monitor commodity price fluctuations through
benchmarking big bazaars and super stores. Their target customers are those in the upper
and upper middle class. The company’s CEO has a longer-term vision to target a customer
base and include people from the lower income bracket.


Product information
They currently handle more than 16,000 items. They sell a wide array of imported goods –
but they do not import directly but buy from importers.

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Roughly of their suppliers 20-30% are fresh producers. This segment has had a good
response from their customers and sales are increasing in both stores. They have also
started to undertake some processing for value–addition and presently pre-packing salads
and vegetables
Contract production system
Presently they have 420 suppliers under the broad categories of perishable and non-
perishables. Among the suppliers 5-10 percent direct importers. A few suppliers (3-4)
have direct link with farmers.


It is understood that AGORA finds it cumbersome dealing with such a range of suppliers.
In addition it finds the supply chain to be very unreliable.


It is for these two reasons that it is understood that once AGORA reaches a critical
minimum mass in its purchasing capabilities, currently estimated at four stores, then
AGORA will concentrate on using aggregators in Singapore to supply most of its
requirements. To what extent fresh products will feature in this is unknown,




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Appendix #2
Promotional material developed by Agricultural Marketing
Services




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Appendix #3
Recipients of gift baskets of Bhutanese Summer Fresh
products
1.      H.E. Prof. Dr. Iajuddin Ahmed, President, People’s Republic of Bangladesh.

2.      H.E. Begum Khaleda Zia, Prime Minister.

3.      H.E. Mr. M. Saifur Rahman, Finance Minister.

4.      H.E. Air Vice Marshal (Retd.) Altaf Hossain Choudhury, Commerce Minister.

5.      H.E. M. Morshed Khan, Foreign Minister.

6.      H.E. Mr. Shamsher M. Chowdhury, BB, Foreign Secretary.

7.      H.E. Mr. Md. Aminur Rahman, Commerce Secretary.

8.      Mr. Khairuzzaman Chowdhury, Chairman, National Board of Revenue.

9.      Brig. General Sheikh Md. Monirul Islam, Chief of Protocol.

10.     Mr. Abudul hye, Media Consultant.

11.     Mr. Enayetullah Khan, Editor, New age.

12.     Mr. Anisur Rahaman, New age.

13.     H.E. Mrs. Veena Sikri, High Commissioner of India.

14.     H.E. Mme. Olga Y. Malginova, Ambassador, Embassy of the Russian Federation.

15.     H.E.Mme. chandralatha Munashinghe, High Commissioner of the Democratic
        Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Dhaka.

16.     H.E. Mme. Manzar Shafiq, High Commissioner, High Commission of the Islamic
        Republic of Pakistan

17.     H.E. Mr. Mohammad Shahta Zarab, (Dean of Diplomatic Crop) Ambassador of the
        state of Palestine.

18.     H.E. Mr. Thane Myint, Ambassador of the Union of Myanmar.

18.     H.E. Mr. KYU-HYUNG LEE, Ambassador of the Republic of South Korean.

19.     H.E. Mr. Matsuhiro Horiguchi, Ambassador of Japan.

20.     H.E. Mr. Chai Xi, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China.

21.     Mr. Gene V. George, Chagre d’ Affaires, Embassy of United States of America.


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22.     H.E. Mr. Bhagirath Basnet, Ambassador of Royal Nepalese Embassy.

23.     H.E. Dato Haji Abdul Mokti Haji Md. Daud, High Commissioner of Brunei
        Darussalam.

24.     H.E. Sheikh Hasina, Opposition Leader, Bangladesh Awami Leagu, Dhaka.

25.     Mr. Abdul Kalam Azad, Press Secretary, Bangladesh Awami Leagu, Dhaka.

26.     Mr. Abdul jalil, Secretary General, Bangladesh Awami Leagu, Dhaka.

27.     Mr. Kazi Zaffarulla, Presidium Member, Bangladesh Awami leagu, Dhaka.

28.     Mr. Saber Hossain Choudhury, Political Secretary, Bangladesh Awami League,
        Dhaka.

29.     Professor Abdul Hye, Dhaka University, Dhaka.

30.     Mr. Aziz Mohammad Bhai, Gulshan – II, Dhaka.

31.     Mr. Mohiuddin Babar, Secretary General, Bangladesh – Bhutan Cultural Forum,
        Dhaka.




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Appendix #4
Publicity arising from Trade Display

NEW NATION 9 JULY 2004

BUSINESS


Bhutanese agri products launched in Bangladesh                               Email this article
By Roving Correspondent                                                  Printer friendly page
Jul 8, 2004, 12:55

Dasho Jigme Tshultim the Ambassador of Bhutan to Bangladesh yesterday formally
launched sale of fresh summer Bhutanese vegetables and stone fruits in Bangladesh.

The launching ceremony was held at 'Agora' supermarket in Gulshan. In the presence of
the delegation from the Ministry of Agriculture of the Royal Government of Bhutan was
the first country to recognise independent Bangladesh. Two countries have very close ties
of friendship and cooperation.

The official delegates had personally accompanied the consignment all the way from
Thimpu to Dhaka demonstrating their governments interest to develop further the trade
relationship with Bangladesh.

All Bhutanese vegetables are grown using natural seeds. Bhutan's high altitude reduces the
likelyhood of damaging pests and diseases and a reliance on harmful chemicals for human
cansumption. In Bhutan almost all vegetables are grown under rainfall environment. Water
from streams and rivers coming down from high Himalayas is also used for irrigation.

The Bhutanese vegetables are available include beans, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, radish
and the famous Bhutanese chilli. Stone fruits Apricot, peach, Plum, and chrry.

Agro-processed products from the Bhutan Agro Industries Limited are juices, jams, and
pickles which are known since long to local consumers.

Interestingly, mountain spring water which is harvested at over 9000 feet in a pristine
environment resulting in the collection of clean and crystal clear product are also on sale.
Locally bottled mineral water users will feel the difference while drinking pure spring
water from the Himalayan mountain range.

The Royal Bhutanese Embassy in Dhaka and the Ministry of Agriculture in Thimpu
organised the show for marketing their agricultural products on regular basis.




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DAILY STAR 9 July 2004

Business


Bhutan seeks free trade deal with Bangladesh
Star Business Report

Bhutan yesterday sought a bilateral free trade agreement with Bangladesh with provision
of zero duty access of its products to Bangladesh market.

Bhutanese Ambassador in Dhaka Dasho Jigme Tshultim said Bangladeshi products have
the duty free access to Bhutanese market while there is 65 percent import duty on average
for Bhutanese products to enter Bangladesh market.

"A complementary trade is possible when both the countries have tariff free access to
each other's market," the ambassador said.

Bhutan can export fruits and vegetables to Bangladesh in summer while Bangladesh can
do vice versa in winter taking the advantage of the climate, he added.

His observations came during the launching ceremony of weeklong festival of Bhutanese
fresh summer vegetables and stone fruits along with agro-processed products that started
at supermarket Agora's Gulshan outlet in Dhaka.

The Royal Bhutanese Embassy, Dhaka, in conjunction with Bhutan's Ministry of
Agriculture and Agora, a sister concern of Rahimafrooz Group, organised the festival.

The Bhutanese envoy said the festival aims to promote fresh and natural fruits and
vegetables grown in high altitude from GMO (genetically modified organism) free seeds.

Narrating the scopes to penetrate local market with Bhutanese agro products, Niaz Rahim,
managing director of Rahimafrooz Superstores Ltd said, "Tax hike is obstructing direct
import and encouraging illegal trade even in the food imports."

Chhime Tshering, an official of the Ministry of Agriculture, Bhutan, said they expect 5 to
15 percent average profit from fresh fruits and vegetable export to Bangladesh.

A range of vegetables such as asparagus, beans, cabbage, cauliflower, chillies, brinjal,
ginger, peas, potato, pumpkin, radish, tomato, and fruits as well as processed products
like jam, pickle and honey are put on display at the festival.




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Bhutan: Our tested friend
As war broke out between rivals India and Pakistan in the first week of
December 1971, even as Bangladesh's War of Liberation was going on in
full swing, she announced the recognition (the first country to do so) of our
newborn country, writes Abdul Hye
The monsoon has already set in and, will soon affirm its
ferocity. Bangladesh is now in the grip of rain,
thundershowers, causing some of our mighty rivers to
overflow. It's ferocity will reach as the weeks roll ahead,
inviting some of the mighty rivers to swell, staking the
miseries of the commoners to mount. Dhaka city is well
accustomed to heavy downpour. The rains send shivers of
alarm to its million capacity citizens, getting holed up! The frequent knee-deep waters
are no joy except for the street urchins to wade and splash, as if, in a make shift
pond. A regular punishment to the city dwellers! Has been subjected to, for decades!
The city fathers have not come up with ideas of coping with the sewerage blockades,
despite ripples of promises now and then. The real state owners have pounced
savagely on every piece of vacant lands and derelict canals! An unplanned growth of
multistoried multiplied the miseries of the sewerage to get choked.
   In an early pre dawn, the rains came heavily on 24 June. I had two courtesy calls to
make, one with the new JICA representative and the other with the new Bhutanese
Ambassador. As we drove as early as 7 in the morning to get 'on air' with the morning
news bulletin on Radio, the vehicle waded cutting the stagnant waters, sending ripples
of tiny waves hitting the blocks of walls across the pavement. I valued the exciting
moments quietly. The driver showed his marksmanship on the steering. The sun was
not there to screw my eyes. The drab thin crowds wading on the flooded pavement
streamed off hurriedly to the nearest buses towards their civil service desk. A variety
of vehicles, rickshaws, CNG cut the edges of the waters like a salmon battling
upstream.
   I bought a newspaper as I reached the broadcasting house. A quick glance and,
surveyed the headline stories of the day. The bulletin over at 8 AM, rounded off my
JICA courtesy call with the new country representative. A kind of friendly
familiarization that have gone exceedingly well, over the last 20-25 years with
ambassadors/diplomats around the world, aimed at lifting the country's image and
profile. I sped off to the Gulshan Chancery house of the Bhutanese Ambassador. The
heavy pre dawn shower almost soaked my safari. A young and outstanding diplomat! I
apologized of my lateness! The frightening snarling traffic in its majestic grid pattern!
Dressed in a humble faded blue boiler suit he conducted me with greetings and smiles.
A diplomat of knowledge, intent on harnessing his experience in promoting economic
ties with Bangladesh. This was his priority, he added with conviction. A comfortable
sort of gentleman with whom everyone felt at home .His parameters of hospitality
extended beyond the boundaries of his large elegant chancery room. I drank the cup
of coffee. We had a brief reminisce of our glorious liberation war. Bhutan stood beside
us as we raced to liberate our country. As war broke out between rivals India and
Pakistan in the first week of December 1971, even as Bangladesh's War of Liberation
was going on in full swing, she announced the recognition (the first country to do so)
of our newborn country. An extraordinary feat of courage for a tiny country!
   The sun had long set on the British Empire. Both India and Burma gone. The tiny
Himalayan land locked Kingdom; Bhutan escaped the colonial taste of the British Raj.
Our relations at all levels got off to a flying start. Economic ties were building up
progressively. Apples, oranges, fruits, jams, jellies, variety of chutneys, pickles soon
made a niche in our market, with increasing popularity. Druk Air has long established
its links between Thimpu and Dhaka. Currently it is suspended. Bangladesh and
Bhutan have a strong and continuing relationship. The Ambassador emphasized this
will strengthen further. Trade and commerce form the basis of our bonds to
compatible rewarding. Matchmaking entrepreneurs make the best use of their
potentials.

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  In a significant move, the Ministry of Agriculture of the Royal Government of Bhutan
through the Royal Bhutanese Embassy, has made arrangements to launch fresh
summer vegetables and stone fruits and agro processed products fro Bhutan Agro
industries Ltd in Dhaka on 8th of July 2004, at Agora. Given the 'go' and if all goes
well, consumers in Bangladesh may have access to vegetables cultivated under most
pristine conditions, natural rainfall and waters melting from the snow of the
Himalayas. Bhutan's high altitude reduces the likelihood of damaging pest and, devoid
of harmful chemicals. Bangladesh can source its supply of summer vegetables from
Bhutan, subject to friendly mutual terms and reference. Beans, broccoli, cauliflower,
peas, radish, cabbage, carrot ginger, peas, beet root, tomato, asparagus, famous
Bhutanese green chili while fruits like peach, apricot, passion fruit can be a good
substitute in the off season. Bhutan is looking forward to market the mountain spring
water harvested at over 9000 feet on the Himalayan in a pristine environment. It is
clean and crystal. It is widely believed to be an instance of the best mineral water in
the world. One hopes, that such cooperation, especially amongst neighbouring
countries, will benefit the peoples of the South Asian region.
  The writer is a media consultant and broadcaster




Fresh Bhutanese vegetables for Bangladeshis


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Posted on Friday, July 09 @ 16:59:59 CDT BST

      Bangladesh : 9 July, 2004 - Bangladeshis will now get to pick fresh mountain
  vegetables and stone fruits straight from the supermarket shelves grown in the
pristine environment of Bhutan.




    The Bhutanese ambassador Dasho Jigme Tshultim at the launching of
              Bhutanese vegetables in a Dhaka supermarket
Fresh Bhutanese vegetables and fruits like beans, cauliflower, cabbage, radish,
chillies, plums, and passion fruits will be among many others to be exported to
Bangladesh as "summer produce". Along with it, the agro processed products like
juices, mineral water, pickles and honey will also be exported.

Promoted as "natural products, grown under pristine and clean environment", the first
supply of about 600 kilogrammes was displayed at the AGORA, the largest
supermarket in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on July 8.

The chief marketing officer of the Agricultural Marketing Services, Sangay Tsiwang,
said that the launch was mainly to develop and promote markets for Bhutanese
vegetables and processed products. "Only a small quantity was taken to display the
variety of the export produce and products during the launch," he said.

Targetted at the higher income group, the vegetables will be exclusively exported in
the summer months from July to October when Bhutan produces fresh vegetables
while Bangladesh faces a shortage, said Sangay Tsiwang.

The Agricultural Marketing Services hopes to institutionalise the supply chain
connecting Bhutanese farmers with the national exporters, importers and the retailers.




                                             Press Release


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 Bhutanese Fresh Summer Vegetables, Stone Fruits and Agro Processed
                            Products
                     Launched in Bangladesh

The Royal Bhutanese Embassy in collaboration with the Ministry of
Agriculture of the Royal Government of Bhutan launched fresh summer
vegetables and stone fruits in Bangladesh. The launching of the produce
along with agro processed products from the Bhutan Agro Industries Limited
took place in “AGORA” supermarket on 8th July 2004 at 11 am with the
cutting of the ribbon by H.E. Dasho Jigme Tshultim, the Ambassador of
Bhutan to Bangladesh.

All of Bhutan’s vegetables are grown using natural and not hybrid seed.
Bhutan’s high altitude reduces the likelihood of damaging pest and diseases
and a reliance on harmful chemicals. Bhutan’s vegetables are grown under
natural rainfall environment or by water from streams and rivers fed from
snow and ice of the high Himalayas.

The Bhutanese Vegetables that will be available in Agora are beans, broccoli,
cauliflower, peas, radish and famous Bhutanese Chili amongst others.
Processed Products from the Bhutan Agro Industries Limited is available.
Product of interest is the mountain spring water which is harvested at over
9000 feet in a pristine environment resulting in a clean and crystal clear
product. Other products will be juices, jams and pickles which are known to
the local market.

For the information of those interested, the above produce and products will
be available in AGORA supermarket on and after the 8th July 2004.




                                                                 7 July 2004




Appendix #5


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Price survey, Dhaka, July 2004

Product            AGORA          Ko – Mart    NANDAN       Open         Banani
                                                            Bazaar       Market
                                  Supermarket Supermarket
Asparagus          --             500          460          --            --
Beans –            --              --          450          --            --
French runner
Brinjal            24              --          26           20           20
Broccoli            --            450          425           --           --
Cabbage             --            35           58           20            --
Carrot             33              --          28           40           20
Cauliflower        270            --           450           --           --
Cucumber            --             --          22           20           22
Ginger             84              --          85           80           80
Potato                             --           --           --          10
Tomato             80              --          58           50           60




Rural Enterprise Development Program                                               July 2004

				
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