Bangladesh Agro-processors Association (BAPA) Tuesday put forward a nine-point demand for government consideration to help the sector sustain its present growth trend and reach US$ 1.0 billion in export earnings.
They sought uninterrupted power and gas supply, low cost bank loans, infrastructure development and an agro-processing zone.
Other demands included taking initiatives to ensure quality seeds and use of pesticides properly, launching campaign for using domestic goods, establishing cold storages for preserving processed agro products and set up a modern laboratory.
"The agro-processing business is growing fast," BAPA president A F M Fakhrul Islam Munshi told a press conference at the BAPA office in the city, urging the government to take the initiatives so that the sector could maintain the present growth pace.
The agro-processing sector has been maintaining an average annual growth of around 15 per cent for last several years.
The sector earned $ 200 million by exporting to around 140 countries in the fiscal year (FY) 2015-16 and the association estimated the earnings to reach $ 1.0 billion by the year 2021.
Mr. Fakhrul sought more initiatives by the government to establish modern preservation unit for perishable goods, install an international laboratory and create awareness among the people for using domestic products.
BAPA convened the press conference ahead the 'Fourth BAPA FoodPro International Expo 2016'. The three-day fair begins at the International Convention City Bashundhara in the city tomorrow (Thursday).
Two other concurrent fair titled '6th Agro Bangladesh Expo' and '3rd Rice and Graintech Expo Bangladesh' will also be held at the same venue.
BAPA in association with the Extreme Exhibitions and Events Limited (E3 Solutions) is organising the event, endorsed by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Local and global companies related to crops, fish, meat, vegetable, fruit processing, packaging, preservation, machineries for processing etc would display their products at the fair.
Exhibitors from 13 countries like Japan, The Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, Indonesia, China and Germany are expected to participate at the fair that will remain open for the visitors upon free registration from 11.00 am to 7.00pm.
The BAPA president said the exhibitions would open up avenues for greater interaction with the local and global stakeholders, and help achieve the 2021 target.
BAPA general secretary Masoodur Rahman and Bangladesh Auto Major and Husking Mill Owners Association first vice president Abu Yousuf Bachchu were present at the press conference.