Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/19/2014 -- We hold a cautious outlook towards the Bangladesh agriculture sector. While it comes from a low base, structural problems still plague the industry. For example, in the rice milling sector, only a third of the rice mills are automated whilst the rest are manually operated mills which produce inferior quality, and more broken rice grains. A mass increase in productivity of the agriculture sector is necessary for it to be able realise its full potential.
Over the long term, we believe that there is much more room for growth and improvement in sub-sectors such as grains and livestock. That said, as the agriculture sector in Bangladesh employs close to 70% of the working population but contributes to only 20% of the country's GDP, there is also an obvious need for improvement in efficiency of operations.
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- Rice production growth to 2018: 9.0% to reach 37.7mn tonnes. Over the longer term, the introduction of an 'input distribution card' to 9mn small farmers will very likely help them to obtain cash subsidies for these inputs and boost productivity.
- Sugar production growth to 2017/18: -43.3% decline to 58,000 tonnes. With farmers increasingly planting more profitable cash crops such as cotton, we do not foresee the trend of declining sugar production to reverse any time soon.
- Poultry production growth to 2017/18: 20.7% to 239,000 tonnes. Better economic conditions and higher disposable incomes will help to drive demand for meat. Better disease control is also expected to support the recovery of the sector.
- 2014 real GDP growth: 6.5%, up from 6.0% in 2013. Predicted to average 6.3% from 2014 to 2018.
- 2014 consumer price inflation: 7.5% year-on-year (y-o-y) average, down from 7.7% y-o-y in 2013. Predicted to average 6.8% from 2013 to 2018.
- 2014 central bank policy rate: 6.75% average, the same level down from 7.25% s in 2013. Predicted to average 6.9% from 2012 to 2017.
- BMI universe agribusiness market value: US$17.8bn in 2014 (down from US$18.9bn in 2013; forecast to grow annually by 2.6% on average to 2018).
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