Bangladesh is an agrarian country with a tropical climate perfectly suitable for the production of a variety of crops, fruits & vegetables, livestock and fisheries and a promising Agro and Food-Processing industry.

Bangladesh is blessed with a tropical climate and fertile soil and a total agricultural output of around 70 million metric tons in 2019-20 period with Rice, potato and sugar crop accounting for around 80% while fruits, vegetables and spices accounted for 17% of the output. the agriculture sector employs around 40.6% of the labor force and contributes 14.23% to GDP. The agro-food processing industry now contributes about 1.7 per cent to GDP and employs about 250,000 people. Its share of total exports now stands at around 3.5 per cent.


Bangladesh exports more than 700 items including 63 basic agro processed products most of which are cereal grains, frozen fish, processed meat, tea, vegetables, tobacco, cut flower, fruits, spices, dry food and other processed agricultural products including livestock, poultry & fish feed to more than 140 countries. At present, there are 486 agro processing manufacturers in the country among which 241 are exporters and 235 cater to the domestic market. In FY 2018-19, the agro sector realized export earnings worth $ 1.41 billion. The main exports items are frozen fish, shrimp and other frozen food products, tea, spices, fruits including dry fruits and some other processed agricultural products. The major export destinations include the European Union (EU), the US, the Middle East and the Gulf. The domestic market size of packaged food was about was 5.2 billion in 2018 and is forecasted to reach 7.3 billion in 2023. In the packaged food market, edible oils, dairy products and snacks dominate in terms of sales value. These products are expected to continue growing steadily by around 6% per annum till 2023. Products that are expected to expand rapidly include processed fruits and vegetables, seafood, and meat, which are expected to grow by 8%, 13%, and 13% per year respectively.

70 million metric tons of agricultural output per year

More than 700 basic and processed food products exported to more than 140 countries

Agro & food processing sector employs about 40% of the labor force and contributes 16% to the country’s GDP

Agricultural export from Bangladesh growing at a CAGR
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Domestic market for agro-processed market stood at 2.8 billion in 2019 and growing
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Advantages of Bangladesh

Growing Domestic Demand

Bangladesh’s domestic agro-processed product market stood at USD 2.8 billion in 2019. The market has been estimated to be growing at an average rate of 7.7% between 2005 till 2017, Growing purchasing power of the large and young domestic market with a median age of 27 combined with rapid urbanization, increase in women in the workforce and a resulting increase in nuclear families and busy lifestyles are expected to propel the expansion of entire market for processed food.

Increasing Export Potential

The agricultural exports from Bangladesh have been growing at a CAGR of 18% for the last five years, in particular the exports of processed snacks. The global demand for agricultural product is also expected to grow by 15% between 2019-2028 which provides a great opportunity to the Bangladesh processed food industry to expand its exports.

Access to plentiful agro-resources

Benefiting from a large number of farmers and fertile soil, Bangladesh is capable of producing a variety of crops, ranging from rice, sugarcane, fruits such as jackfruit (the world 2nd producer), mango (9th), guava (8th), and vegetables such as potato (6th), eggplant and tomato, to livestock (the world’s 12th largest cattle inventory) and fisheries.

Processed Food and Vegetable

As one of the top tropical fruits and fresh vegetable producer in the world, Bangladesh offers immense opportunity to invest in the local processing of numerous fruits and vegetable and satisfy the growing and untapped demand of the domestic market with growing per capita income and expanding fast food chains, restaurants and hotels. There are only a few modernized aseptic processing plants in the country resulting in low rates of processing. With high domestic demand and increasing exports, the potential for local processing is enormous.

Dairy Products

In tandem with the growing purchasing power and increasing health awareness, consumption of milk and dairy products grew by 17% annually between 2009 to 2018. Despite an increase in the production capacity over the years, demand has persistently outpaced the supply generating a gap in the domestic market. With a low per-capita consumption of milk and dairy products in the country which is below the optimum level recommended by the WHO, the prospect for investment in the sector is huge.

Edible Oil

Edible Oil is one of the major packaged food products in Bangladesh, with an annual demand of around 3 million MT in 2018. Although, the demand has grown at an annual rate of 8 to 12% in recent years, currently over 90% of the demand is being met by import of palm and soybean oils. Domestic production (mustard and rice bran oils largely) is limited to 0.3 million MT, the government is keen on promoting investment in oil extraction process for rice bran, mustard and offers sector-specific incentive to the oil producers.

Processed Meat

Meat consumption in Bangladesh has been steadily increasing at an annual rate of 15% on average along with the development of poultry farming. Moreover, the growing number of restaurants and hotels has boosted demand for meat processing products across the country. The processed food market stood at USD 24 million in 2018 according to Euromonitor International and is expected to grow at an annual rate of over 13% till 2023. Besides, the global halal meat market provides an additional opportunity for the Bangladeshi industry to explore.

Frozen and Ready to cook food

The frozen and ready-to-cook food segment in Bangladesh has experienced rapid growth with an annual rate of 15% over the past five years. The market size was over USD 95 million in 2019 and is expected to reach around 355 million by 2024 (according to research by Financial Planning). With an increasing middle-income class coupled with changing lifestyles, demand for frozen or ready-to-cook food products is expected to increase in Bangladesh.

Beverage (Soft Drink)

Soft drink has been one of the fastest growing segments across the country. Mordor Intelligence estimated the soft drink market in Bangladesh at USD 610 million in 2018 and is expecting it to grow at an annual rate of 12.5% till 2025, generating a huge opportunity for investment.

Multi-purpose cold storage facility

The country has over 400 cold storage facilities with a capacity of 5.5 million MT majority of which is utilized for storing potatoes. Considering the large post-harvest losses of various fruits and vegetables, Bangladesh needs multi-purpose cold storage facilities to cater to various crops simultaneously in view of stabilizing the supply and price of these crops.

Incentives related to Agro and Food processing

  • Reduced Corporate Income Tax (CIT) for 5 to 10 years depending on location, for industrial undertakings engaged in processing of locally produced fruits and vegetables.
  • Complete tax exemption on income from rice bran oil production up to 10 years.
  • 20% special rebate on electricity consumption to agro processing units.
  • Tax exemption on royalties, technical knowhow/ assistance-related fees (and their repatriation).
  • Exemption of import duties on capital machineries.
  • Full repatriation of profits & initial investment amount.

For Exporters

  • 50% tax exemption for income derived from export.
  • No VAT imposition on export goods.
  • 20% export subsidy/ cash incentive for exporters of locally processed agricultural products and 100% halal meats.
  • Duty-free market access (preferential treatment) to 52 nations.


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