October 21, 2016: Two back to back workshops in Cox’s Bazar on October 21, 2016 discussed about the future of shrimps sector in Bangladesh and various challenges of and approaches to introducing e-Traceability in the sector. The first workshop titled “Future of Shrimps: Market, Technologies and Diseases with Particular Reference to Containing Possible Emergence of Pathogen in Shrimp Sector of Bangladesh” focused on the ground reality relating to the present production and processing of shrimps products and processing in Bangladesh with particular emphasis on significant potential for production and income gain from the sector. The second workshop titled “Introduction of e-Traceability System in Shrimp Sector of Bangladesh: Challenges and Approaches” discussed about how Bangladesh can go about introducing e-Traceability in the sector which is increasingly being emphasized as a prerequisite for ensuring product quality and compliance with relevant international norms and standards. The Senior Secretary of Ministry of Commerce Mr. Hedayetullah Al Mamoon was the chief guest and Mr. Anisur Rahman, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock was a special guest in both the workshops which were attended by a cross section of stakeholders from Ministry of Fisheries, Department of Fisheries (DoF), Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute (BFRI), Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters’ Association (BFFEA), Shrimp Hatchery Association of Bangladesh (SHAB), Bangladesh Shrimp and Fish Foundation (BSFF). The events were organized by BSFF in collaboration with DoF and BFFEA and supported by Bangladesh Business Promotion Council and US Department of Agriculture.
It was underscored during the first workshop on “Future of Shrimps: Market, Technologies and Diseases with Particular Reference to Containing Possible Emergence of Pathogen in Shrimp Sector of Bangladesh” that Bangladesh can become world’s one of the major producers of shrimps and prawn, a view emphasized by the Senior Commerce Secretary, Ministry of Fisheries and Department of Fisheries, other stakeholders present in the workshops. Mr. William Collis, Chief of Party, USDA SAFETI told that Bangladesh has the space, enabling condition (soils-salinity) and the right climate to be able to do so and appropriate technologies for the purpose are available. Planned actions and a conscious effort to work for progress in the sector with due cognizance of social and environmental issues should be a priority for Bangladesh if the sector is to realize its full potential.
The second workshop on e-Traceability highlighted the importance of taking immediate initiative for comprehensive action for introducing e-Traceability in the shrimp sector in Bangladesh. This is necessary to ensure product quality, enhance consumers’ confidence and effective branding of Bangladeshi products. The discussions in the workshops highlighted that supportive measures need to be undertaken at specific points of improved value chain in the sector, introduction of appropriate IT applications and development of support measures required for successful introduction of any e-Traceability arrangement in Bangladesh. It was noted during the workshop that Bangladesh Government is committed to introduce a credible traceability system in the shrimp sector at the earliest and that work is on for the purpose. The workshop was also informed that FAO is also working with the Government in this regard. The outlines of a pilot program for introduction of e-Traceability in Bangladesh shrimp sector was also presented during the workshop.