Bangladesh is a developing country that is regularly hit by natural disasters. These disasters severely impact the economy, disproportionately affecting the infrastructure and agriculture sectors, as well as vulnerable groups. Further, nutrition outcomes in Bangladesh have not kept pace with the progress achieved by most other social and economic indicators.
With some 67% of the population living in rural areas and over 43% of the country’s total labor force engaged in agriculture, achieving economically, socially and environmentally sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction will require policies and investments conducive to lasting transformational changes in rural areas – including through technological innovation in agriculture.
The purpose of this project is to develop mango processing systems that are productive, profitable, energy conserving and environmentally sound that will ensure food safety and quality. I seek financial collaboration to build an online warehouse retail market to enhance e-commerce in the mango market.
I am 33 and will trade with local farmers while creating business opportunities and jobs to the young residents of the country. I will use this model to enhance the lives of youth and empower them to create food, income, credit and a business.
The sole and simple objective of this project is to establish an intensive post-harvest mango processing unit and online retail market. This project will be able to supply major retailers, especially because these retailers have to consider local sources due to shelf-life and cost of transport. We will also engage with various farmers markets.
We hope to engage huge numbers of unemployed youth in workshops, teaching the values of honest work and ethical food production.
Keys to success:
- Highly efficient mango production
- Efficient use and re-use of our most valuable resource: water
- High and continuous demand for organic, fresh produce (perpetual market)
Food processing (including canning of fruits and vegetables), mushroom growing and dried food production have considerable potential for success in this region, provided quality control can be ensured. To realize their full potential for domestic marketing and export, the government needs to continue its current commitment to providing fiscal and budgetary support and investing in manufacturing and infrastructure.
Any failure of Bangladeshi farmers to respond to market signals is also translated into lack of facilities for creation of product utility. Investment in agro-processing is one response to such surpluses, though again this is essentially an issue where there is ample room for the private sector. We will invest in pilot or demonstration scale agro-processing, in association with other private sector partners.
The mango (Bangla-aam) is the king of fruits in Bangladesh. It is a fleshy stone fruit that is generally very sweet and tasty. It is also one of the most popular fruits in the world.
The mango is native to the Indian subcontinent from where it spread all over the world. Generally, ripe mangoes have an orange-yellow or reddish peel and are juicy for eating.
Bangladesh produces a large number of superior varieties of mangos, mostly grown in Rajshahi, Nawabganj, and Dinajpur. These varieties have wide demand in the market and are commercially important. Prominent among the elite varieties are Fazli, Langra, Ashini, Gopal-bogh, Laksman-bhog, Mohan-bhog, Raj-bhog, Himsagar, Chok anan and Khirsapat.
Health benefits of Mangoes
Mango fruit is rich in pre-biotic dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and poly-phenolic flavonoid antioxidant compounds. According to a new research study, mango fruit protects against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers. Several trial studies suggest that polyphenolic anti-oxidant compounds in mango offer protection against breast and colon cancers.
Mango fruit is an excellent source of Vitamin-A and flavonoids like beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin. One hundred grams of fresh fruit provides 765 IU or 25% of the recommended daily intake levels of vitamin-A. Together, these compounds have antioxidant properties and are essential for vision. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucous glands and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in carotenes is known to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
Fresh mango is a good source of potassium. One hundred grams fruit provides 156 mg of potassium and only 2 mg of sodium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure.
Mangoes are also a very good source of vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin-C and vitamin-E. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals. Vitamin B-6 or pyridoxine is required for GABA hormone production within the brain. It also controls homocysteine levels within the blood, which may otherwise be harmful to blood vessels resulting in coronary artery disease (CAD) and stroke.
Furthermore, mangoes contain moderate amounts of copper. Copper is a co-factor for many vital enzymes, including cytochrome C-oxidase and superoxide dismutase. Copper is also required for the production of red blood cells.
Finally, mango peel is rich in phytonutrients such as the pigment antioxidants like carotenoids and polyphenols.
For this project, marketing will take place with direct contact between project managers and retail managers. We will develop our own in-house brand with the assistance of a local creative design agency and use local companies to produce and maintain a website (and possibly grow this into an online shop), social media platforms, pamphlets and local newspaper ads.
We believe a project of this nature will have strong word-of-mouth marketing potential.
Our products will be sold mainly through wholesale marketing, although a selection of products will be sold at local farmers markets. We envisage creating our own brand for sale at these farmers markets.
Part of our sales strategy is to incorporate education material to show the health benefits of buying our products.
We will be able to react quickly to changing needs and demand, and therefore remain consistent in the eyes of the retailer. At all times we will maintain, in order of priority, the following:
- Quality (i.e. taste and health benefits)
- Consistency (ability to supply)
The primary project beneficiaries will be smallholder farmers (i.e., small, marginal and landless farmers). In compliance with government policies and strategies, the primary target group for this project will be smallholder farmers, with special emphasis on youth. Smallholder farmers account for over 90 percent of the country’s rural population and make up for the vast majority of the country’s poor.
It is estimated that over 10,000 farming households will directly benefit from project activities such as improved extension services, stronger linkages with research, on-farm demonstrations of new technologies, capacity enhancement through training and skills development. All members of the supported farming communities will potentially benefit from the technologies generated, the improved extension services provided and the market linkages developed.
The project will promote gender mainstreaming and youth empowerment as we will ensure that a significant proportion of direct beneficiaries are female. Other direct project beneficiaries include extension workers and, to a lesser extent, rural entrepreneurs. Since the project will facilitate access to markets, project beneficiaries will also include traders, processors, local entrepreneurs and value-adding SMEs.
Online retail $2500
Blogpost and picture submitted by Biozid Jessorey (Bangladesh) – biozid.jessorey[at]hotmail.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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