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Invest in the Bangladeshi Agro Industry

Lion Mohammad Abdur Rashid
Founder and Executive Director
ASPADA Paribesh Unnayan Foundation
ASPADA AGRO

As a nonprofit organization, ASPADA (Agroforestry Seed Production and Development Association) Paribesh Unnayan Foundation has been providing an endeavor to develop poor, deprived, destitute, marginalized and vulnerable communities of Bangladesh. Since its inception in 1993, the founder and executive director Lion Mohammad Abdur Rashid was passionate to uplift farmers from the poverty line through agro-based interventions utilizing his own farming experience. His ground-breaking thinking is to make agriculture profitable and for that the requirement was to transform conventional agriculture into commercial agriculture, thus resulting in ASPADA AGRO which is a profitable entity to promote the innovative “Cooperative Based Comprehensive Farm Development” approach. As a visionary person, he develops a small farmer development strategy that includes mechanized farming, science-based solution, technical knowledge building and adequate investment. Presently, 300 farmers in 5 groups have been executing pilot basis where support to each group a set of agro machineries (tractor, transplanter, harvester, carrier etc.), 4/5 milking cow and fattening bull to each farmer, high quality seed and seedling as required, composting plant at home, operational capital, high quality fingerlings etc. along with round the year technical support through agriculture graduates. Within the next 5 years, our target is to engage and expand similar support to 5000 farmers (currently 35,000 farmers HHs working with ASPADA) and establish a strong network of input and forward market actors aiming to create an advanced level producer group. Therefore, the expert producer groups are producing export quality papaya, banana, rice, bottle gourd, ash gourd, sweet gourd, meat, milk, fish etc. round the year in a large quantity which we intend to process or export. As a commercial operation, we envisioned to manufacture/produce low cost, high quality, environment friendly, agricultural inputs/mercenaries in Bangladesh instead of importing from other countries as a production cost minimization strategy. As we know, farmers, especially small and poor have less ability to use modern and quality inputs due to higher price or investment which is one of the barriers in commercial agriculture. Nowadays in Bangladesh, the modern agro input market is expanding rapidly, so there is huge potential of profitable agro business. As a result, ASPADA is seeking investment as a joint venture to establish an agricultural input (seed, fertilizer, pesticide, irrigation and farm machinery) manufacturing unit to make available quality inputs locally and cheaply. They desire to establish a Feed mill (poultry, fish, cattle), export-oriented fruit, fish and vegetable processing industry, manufacturing unit of agricultural machinery (light or heavy) and IPM materials etc. Against this intention, they have good strength like 43-acre land (suitable for industry establishment with gas and electricity facilities) in Bhaluka, Mymensingh, ready fish fruits, and vegetable producer groups equipped with modern technology, large scale aquaculture farm, skilled manpower and 25 years agro business experience. “Considering the market analysis, agro business is now prominent in Bangladesh therefore I strongly believe, if anyone invests in the agribusiness certainly that will be a successful one” he said.

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