Monthly Archives: May 2011

Korean company to invest $5m in Ctg EPZ

Korean company to invest $5m in Ctg EPZ

DHAKA, May 15 (BSS)- A Korean company will set up a shoe and bag manufacturing industry in the Chittagong Export Processing Zone (EPZ) investing 5.025 million US dollars.

The company, M/s Hana S & B Limited, signed an agreement with the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority to this effect in the BEPZA Complex here today.

The fully foreign owned company will manufacture all kinds of shoe and bag, and create jobs for 688 Bangladeshi nationals.

A Z M Azizur Rahman, General Manager (Investment Promotion) of BEPZA, and Sang Tae Kim, Managing Director, M/s Hana S & B Limited, signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organizations.

Executive Chairman of BEPZA Major General ATM Shahidul Islam, among others, was present at the signing ceremony.


BSTI to set up world class Chemical Metrology Lab: Dilip

BSTI to set up world class Chemical Metrology Lab: Dilip

DHAKA, May 21: Industries Minister Dilip Barua said Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) initiated the process for setting up a world class Chemical Metrology Laboratory in the country for ensuring accurate measurement of chemical ingredients used in different products. He was addressing as the chief guest at a seminar “Chemical Measurements for our life, our future” at the BSTI auditorium in Tejgaon on Friday, an official release said.

BSTI organised the seminar in connection with observance of the 8th World Metrology Day which was chaired by its director general AK Fazlul Ahad.

International Metrology expert Dr. Franz Hengstberger and BUET Prof Dr M Fakhrul Islam presented two papers at the seminar.

Additional secretary in the Industries Ministry ABM Khorshed Alam, director general of Bangladesh Accreditation Board M Abu Abdullah and BSTI director Khademul Islam, among others, spoke.

The Industries Minister said Bangladesh would have to produce class products for ensuring their smooth entry in the global market and staying there.

Bangladesh to get 60,000 hectares for farming in Uganda

Bangladesh to get 60,000 hectares for farming in Uganda
Star Business Report

Uganda is interested to allocate up to 60,000 hectares of land to Bang-ladeshi entrepreneurs for commercial farming in the east African country, its Honorary Consul to Bangladesh said yesterday.

”The government of Uganda has shown interest to allocate more land for cultivation to Bangladeshi entrepreneurs. If it is feasible and receives attractive proposal it will provide more,” said Abul Hossain, the honorary consul.

”Uganda will provide the land for free. It will however take a percentage of the produce,” he said at a press conference at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel in Dhaka.

The disclosure came after a team of Bangladeshi businessmen got nod from the government of Uganda against their proposal for commercial farming on 10,000 hectares of land (1 hectare = 2.47 acres) in the country.

Nitol-Niloy Group, which led the delegation to the African country last month, organised the press meet to announce its plan to invest $12.5 million to grow rice on 10,000 hectares of land in Uganda in a bid to support Bangladesh’s effort to ensure food sufficiency for its growing population.

With 16 crore population on 147,000 square kilometres of land, Bangladesh faces a gradual fall of arable land due to its increased use for non-farm purposes including housing.

The decline has created concerns about future food security for the nation which takes rice as staple.

Bangladesh requires additional 5 lakh tonnes of food grains every year for its rising population. Over the decades since independence, rice output tripled to over 3 crore tonnes in Bangladesh, yet the country has to depend on imports.

Abdul Matlub Ahmad, chairman of Nitol-Niloy Group, a Tk 2,000 crore company, said Bang-ladeshi entrepreneurs are looking for commercial rice farming in Africa to ensure food security.

Ahmad, whose company’s operations range from automobile to paper to cement, said the proposed farming venture on 10,000 hectares of land would give output of 77,000 tonnes of rice from two seasons a year.

Of the produce, 20 percent will go to the government of Uganda, and the remaining will be sent to Bangladesh with a profit of 10 percent plus production cost.

”If such 22 projects could be done, we will have the food security the government wants,” said Ahmad.

He said Bangladesh has a shortfall of 14 lakh tonnes of rice, and 22 such farms can narrow the gap between the demand and supply.

Hossain said the African country has a plenty of cultivable land, with suitable weather for farming. It also produces organic cotton, coffee, tea and rice.

He said the scope for Bangladeshi entrepreneurs to invest in the country would widen if the agriculture ministries of the two countries sign cooperation deal.

Apart from Nitol-Niloy Group, some more local entrepreneurs have also started looking for leasing land in other African countries including Tanzania.

Two local businesses including one led by Nitol-Niloy Group aim to go for farming in Uganda and Tanzania on 40,000 hectares of land, according to reports.

Bangladesh Bank, which gives permission to local entrepreneurs investing abroad, is yet to receive any application seeking clearance for foreign exchange transfer, said a top central bank official.

Ahmad expected the government would allow such investments to ensure food security in the country. He added an agreement between Bangladesh and Uganda might be signed next month.

Ahmad also announced a platform, Bangladesh Africa Business Forum, to provide support to prospective investors.

20m to have internet access by year end

20m to have internet access by year end
Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha . Dhaka

With vigorous attempt of the government to make more people tech savvy to achieve the vision of the Digital Bangladesh, internet accessibility is going to be doubled in less than one year.

An official at the ministry of posts and telecommunications told the news agency on Thursday that internet users in Bangladesh would be around 20 million by the end of this year with a phenomenal increase in the internet connections. Currently, 10 million people are using internet regularly from 1.1 million internet connections.

According to Internet Service Provider Association of Bangladesh, 60 internet service providers in the private sector are now offering internet services, besides the state-owned Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited.

Citing the findings of a report, the official said on an average 10 people used a connection for sending emails and browsing web sites.

Considering the phenomenal growth rate, driven by increasing number of ‘internet population’, he said they were expecting another 10 million people on the online trail from 1 million new connections by the end of 2011.

The number of internet connections was 0.6 million (six laky) in 2009 when the present government came to power with a strong commitment of making the country digitally enriched by 2021. Over the past two years, internet users grew by around 84 per cent to 1.1 million in 2011 from 0.6 million in 2009. The number of connections is projected to be 2 million by this year.

Zinc rice by 2013

Zinc rice by 2013
New variety to help children be in sound health
Saidul Haque

Agricultural scientists of the country will release a new variety of rice – zinc-fortified rice – by 2013 with concentration of 24 mg of zinc a kg essential for both physical and mental growth of children.

Alamgir Hossain, principal scientific officer of Plant Breeding Division of Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI), said: “We are trying to develop it in bio-fortification process and the production target is about 7 tonnes per hectare as the farmers are interested in cultivating the variety because of its high yielding capacity.”

Harvest Plus, an international research project under Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGSIR), will release the new variety by 2013.

Nowadays farmers are not willing to cultivate less yielding variety of rice because of less profit, said the researchers of BRRI.

Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury said she suggested that the scientists should take into consideration such a variety that will reduce the production cost of farmers.

A new variety of rice must be tasty apart from other qualities to become popular, otherwise it will bring no positive results, the minister mentioned.

Most of the people in our country suffer from zinc deficiency while it is essential for both mental and physical growth of children.

Children of low-income family of the country are fully dependent on rice and their physical growth is hampering due to zinc deficiency, Alamgir said.

For the micronutrient deficiency, our nation is lagging behind intellectually compared to that of other nations, he added.

According to World Health Organisation, if 20 percent of children of a country do not have proper physical growth compared to their age, it is considered that people of that country are experiencing serious zinc deficiency.

“Most of the people in our country can not meet the demand for zinc,” said Mohammad Abdul Mannan, director general of BRRI. The average amount of zinc in BRRI released rice variety is 13 mg/kg which is not sufficient for human body, said Abdul Mannan.

“We are also trying to enrich the new rice variety with iron content so that people can get both iron and zinc in the same rice,” Abdul Mannan informed.

Mahabub Hossain, executive director of BRAC said, “We are very much hopeful about this new rice variety; we are also trying to keep its price within the reach of consumers to popularise it,” Mahabub said.

2-lakh tonnes additional fish production possible in rice fields in Rangpur

2-lakh tonnes additional fish production possible in rice fields in Rangpur

RANGPUR, May 15 (BSS) – State Minister for Land Advocate Mostafizur Rahman MP has said that 2-lakh tonnes additional fish production is possible annually through enhancing pisciculture in rice fields in Rangpur division alone.

For this, he suggested for inspiring the farmers, providing them with the latest scientific technologies, and educating them in producing quality fingerlings of high yielding GIFT Tilapia fish in their farmlands or other tiny places.

He was addressing the final workshop on ‘Enhancing the Impacts of Decentralized (Fish) Seed Production (RIU-DSP) Project organised Saturday by RDRS Bangladesh at Begum Rokeya auditorium in the city as the chief guest.

Director of the World Fish Centre from Bangladesh and South Asia Office William J Kollis chaired the workshop and Divisional Commissioner Jashim Uddin Ahmed and Principal Scientific Officer of the Department of Fisheries Dr Md Abdul Jalil, attended as the special guests.

Coordinator of the World Fish Centre Dr Binoy Kumar Barman and Head of Agriculture and Environment of RDRS Bangladesh Dr MG Neogi addressed the workshop and Kuddus Ansari from India conducted the technical session.

The workshop was informed that the UK-based DFID-funded 3- year RIU-DSP Project would be completed simultaneously by May 31 next in Bangladesh, India and Nepal.

RDRS Bangladesh has been implementing the project in Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari, Gaibandha, Dinajpur, Thakurgaon, Panchagarh, Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj and Naogaon districts in Bangladesh.

Under the project, 18,000 fingerling producers has been produced and 21,000 targeted small and marginal farmers in these districts will now produce six crore GIFT Tilapia fingerlings and 6,000 tonnes additional Tilapia fish worth Taka 100 crore annually.

The project enabled the selected farmers producing fingerlings in the small ditches in rice fields by releasing the Tilapia broods from late March to mid-April as breeding continues till April- May when the farmers start selling their fingerlings.

RDRS Bangladesh with its 11 partner organisations have been distributing broods to produce fingerlings in the rice fields to help the poor earning profits, tackling poverty and meeting their nutrition demand by GIFT Tilapia farming and selling fingerlings.

The speakers said that pisciculture in rice fields has become popular and the farmers are becoming more interested in culturing fish because of availability of quality fingerlings at community levels using the proven technology.

The experts said that the project has been proved very effective when fish production has been reduced over the decades and suggested for conducting follow-up activities so that the involved farmers would continue the process in future.

World standard electronics products being manufactured in Bangladesh

World standard electronics products being manufactured in Bangladesh
Only Walton has BSTI approval

News Report

Walton Hi-tech Industries at Chandra in Gazipur is now manufacturing world standard and quality refrigerators, motorcycles and other electronics products.

Walton is the country’s sole company that has the approval from BSTI and is the capacity to manufacture two kind of refrigerators- frost and non-frost-through importing raw materials from Germany and Korea.

Many distinguished persons visited the Walton Hi-tech Industries at Chandra in Gazipur and expressed highly satisfaction seeing the standard and quality of plant.

During his visit to the manufacturing unit recently Industries Minister Dilip Barua said the Walton refrigerators and other products are more qualitative from imported one.

The minister said like Tata of India, Walton will play a positive role in building good image of the country.

Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister GM Quader said “It is a matter of proud for Bangladesh that such kind of heavy factory has been established in the country that is manufacturing world standard fridge, motorcycle, television, AC, generator, etc”.

German Ambassador to Bangladesh Holger Michael also visited the Walton Hi-tech Industries and expressed satisfaction over the world standard manufacturing facility.

He hoped that Bangladesh would emerge as one of the refrigerator, fridger and motorcycle exporting countries in the world and through exporting the items Bangladesh would earn huge foreign currency in the coming days”.

Seeing the state-of-art-technology of the factory, the ambassador commented that “Walton products produced in the factory are also standard and qualitative like products of developed countries”

During visit to the factory Spanish Ambassador in Bangladesh Arturo Perez Martinez commented: “Every thing is very existing and well prepared to face all the challenges. I forecast a very successful future for this company”.

Kayoko Takagide Perez Martinez, wife of the ambassador, also accompanied him during his visit to the factory.

She said: “It is a matter of proud that Bangladesh is now booming up with its own products and has started to produce their own products. The manufacturing and marketing idea of Walton is very excellent”

According to sources, in business Walton has already overwhelmed Bangladesh, and begun to touch foreign countries. Walton has already begun to export its products to Asia, Middle East, African and technology developed European countries.

International Marketing Director of Walton Mizanur Rahman said “In developed countries quality is very important and keeping the quality and standard Walton brand products are being exported to different developed countries”