Cover Image
close this bookHandling, Processing and Marketing of Fish in Bangladesh - Part 1 (NRI)
close this folderSection 5: Conclusions
View the document5.1 Problems of the existing system of marketing
View the document5.2 Possible measures to improve the marketing system
View the document5.3 Benefits from the proposed measures
View the documentBibliography

5.1 Problems of the existing system of marketing

The main problems affecting the marketing of fish in Bangladesh are as follows:

(a) The isolation of many fishing communities from their wholesale landing facilities, coupled with poor transport and lack of ice.

(b) Poor physical facilities for marketing of fish (i.e. Ianding centres, wholesale and retail markets).

(c) Widespread ignorance of the factors affecting fish quality and ways of overcoming them.

These problems give rise to substantial losses to the economy of Bangladesh. Quantification of such losses is very difficult without a series of detailed investigations, but the following estimates provide an indication of the order of magnitude of the problem:


Quantity/value

Type

Internally consumed:



Quantitative losses

at least 35,200 tonnes

discarded by-catch and


(4.6% of the catch)

dried fish loss

Qualitative losses

US$ 96 million

downgraded fish

Shrimp exports:



Quantitative losses

US$ 2 million

excessive washing

Qualitative losses

US$ 7 million +

downgrading

It should be noted that the quantitative loss is equivalent to 340 grams per annum per head of population in Bangladesh; elimination of such a loss would allow consumption per head to be raised from the present 7.6 kg per capita to nearly 8.0 kg per capita.

This picture of quantitative and qualitative losses contrasts with the conclusion of a recent ADB report (Aquatic Farms Ltd., 1986) according to which prices vary little with quality and losses are not large. It should however be noted that the growing importance of fish culture will ease post-harvest problems rather than exacerbate them. Cultured fish can be harvested as and when required, avoiding the accumulation of unmarketable gluts, while arrangements for icing and packaging can be planned in advance of harvesting. All this tends to minimise post-harvest losses.

As discussed in Section 3.9, fish marketing is almost exclusively in the hands of the private sector, which is considered efficient compared to alternative systems which might be established. Nevertheless there is scope for increased competition in distribution, particularly at the assembly phase of the marketing chain.

5.2 Possible measures to improve the marketing system

The scale of the losses and the scarcity of fish in Bangladesh make it particularly important to improve the way in which fish is marketed. As stated in Section 2.9, Bangladesh will have difficulty maintaining its present level of per capita fish supplies over the next two decades, let alone improving it, and this makes it all the more necessary to reduce physical losses and to increase the flow of fish from producing areas to consumers.

Measures of the following kind are needed:

(a) Assistance targetted specifically at remote fishing communities in the Bay of Bengal and the beef fishing areas. In some inland areas, the building of roads is necessary to improve market access. Fishermen should receive instruction on improved methods of handling and curing fish, there being simple preventative methods which will substantially reduce curing losses. Fishermen or fishing communities should also be helped to acquire motorised collector boats, mini ice-plants (where economically justified) and processing facilities. Of course the effective use of such plant and equipment by communities or groups of fishermen requires that they be suitably organised and managerially capable, for this reason careful attention should be paid to social development aspects.

(b) An improved system of mandatory inspection for seafood exports as discussed in Section 4.6.

(c) The building of a series of modern landing facilities and wholesale markets in all the major landing and trading centres throughout Bangladesh. These would be hygienic and require less physical handling of the fish.

(d) Training and extension in improved handling and processing addressed at all those involved in the handling of fish, including fishermen, traders, processors, export packers and municipal authorities. The first priority should be to improve the quality of exported fish, given its high unit value, but training should subsequently be given to those involved in the domestic trade. Training should be linked with research into improved handling which is discussed under the next sub-heading.

(e) Research. There is scope for considerable research in the post-harvest fishery sector. For example, research is required to better quantify the postharvest losses described above. Another exercise is required to determine the optimal use of shrimp by-catch which is presently discarded at sea. A number of subjects need to be considered such as the design and operation of shrimp trawlers, the use of collector boats and alternative uses of the by-catch. Research is also appropriate for evaluating improved methods of handling and processing of fresh fish, e.g. new forms of packaging and insulation.

(f) Further suggestions arising from this report include: restrictions on the number of new seafood packing plants that may be built, together with a prohibition on exports by companies which do not own such plants; improvements in port facilities and reefer services (see comments in Section 4.2); improvements in the quality of packaging materials available to exporters.

For Bangladesh to undertake such a programme the Government, as well as cooperating private organisations, will need considerable technical and financial support from outside. Much of this support would consist of training Bangladeshis in fish quality, handling, processing techniques, etc. It was noted by the authors that there were a number of enthusiastic graduates who had already received some training in these areas, often overseas, but that they tended to lack sufficient practical experience. It is therefore preferable that most training be of the practical hands-on kind, which can best be provided by in-country courses. At the same time there is a need to improve the training capability of the universities and the fisheries training centre at Chandpur, which has recently come under the newly created Fisheries Training Institute.

5.3 Benefits from the proposed measures

The main economic benefits from implementing measures of the kind listed above can be summed up as follows:

· Consumers benefit from a greater availability of fish, particularly fresh fish, better quality and lower prices. More fish is available because of a reduction in physical losses, and because the more efficient marketing system increases incentives to producers. At the same time less fish is downgraded into cured product, but instead reaches the consumer in its higher valued fresh form.

· Fishermen benefit by increased income from their traditional activity.

· Communities in the vicinity of modern landing/wholesale centres benefit from less pollution and congestion.

· All those involved in the export trade, including suppliers and intermediary processors, benefit from increased proceeds, with corresponding improvements occuring in the balance of payments and tax revenues.

Bibliography

AHMED, M., BHUIYA, A.D., ALAM, A.M.S. and HUDA, S.M.S. (1978)

Radiation disinfestation studies on sun-dried fish. Indo-Pacific Fishery Commission, Proceedings 18th session. Manila, Philippines 8-17 March 1978. pp. 310-321.

AHMED, N. (1983)

Marketing of selected fishes in Bangladesh, a study in efficiency. Department of Marketing, University of Dhaka. Unpublished PhD thesis, 367pp.

ANON. (1986)

Country Profile. Bangladesh Fisheries Sector. Infofish Marketing Digest, (1/86): 11 - 13.

AQUATIC FARMS LTD. (1986)

Bangladesh Second Aquaculture Development Project. Preparation Report. Appendices 7 & 8. Asian Development Bank (ADB), 33+34pp.

BANGLADESH FISHERIES DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION 1986a

Annual Report of Bangladesh Fisheries Development Corporation for the year 1984-85. BFDC, 43pp.

BANGLADESH FISHERIES DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (1986b)

Establishment of a wholesale fish market and fish landing terminal at Daborghat (Sunamgonj). [i] + 35pp. [Unpublished.]

BANGLADESH FISHERIES DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (1986c)

Project for the production and marketing of fish products. BFDC, [i] +27pp. Unpublished.

BHUIYAN, M.A. (1986)

BFDC fish products marketing. FAO Project No. BCD/80/025. FAO, [v] + 110pp. [Unpublished.]

CANN, D.C. (1985)

Report on Consultancy to Bangladesh to investigate quality control and inspection in shrimp production industry. (20 January-22 February 1985.) FAO Report No. FI:DP/BGD/80/025, [i] + 28pp. [Unpublished.]

DANIDA (1984a)

Bangladesh: wholesale fish market in Barisal. Appraisal Report. DANIDA Report, ref. 104. Bang. 75. Copenhagen: DANIDA, iii + 18pp. + Annexes. [Unpublished.]

DANIDA (1984b)

Bangladesh: wholesale fish market in Chittagong. Appraisal Report. DANIDA Report, ref. 104. Bang. 75. Copenhagen: DANIDA, iii + 21 pp. + Annexes. [Unpublished.]

DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES, FISHERIES RESOURCES SURVEY SYSTEM (1986a)

Fish catch statistics of Bangladesh, 1983-84. Dhaka: DOF, FRSS, i+ 28pp.

DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES, FISHERIES RESOURCES SURVEY SYSTEM (1986b)

Fish catch statistics of Bangladesh, 1984-85. Dhaka: DOF, FRSS, [iii] + 15pp.

DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES, FISHERIES RESOURCES SURVEY SYSTEM (1986c)

Water area statistics of Bangladesh. Fisheries Information Bulletin, 3 (1), ii + 33pp.

DOE, P.E., AHMED, M., MUSLEMUDDIN, M. and SACHITHANANTHAN, K. (1977)

A polythene tent drier for improved sun drying of fish. Food Technology in Australia, 29 (November 1977): 437-441.

ELSY, R. (1986)

Marketing and development options for shrimp bycatch products in Bangladesh. FAO Project BGD/80/025. i + 34pp. + Appendices. [Unpublished.]

ETOH, S. (1985)

Report on product development work in use of under-utilized species of fish in Bangladesh. FAO, i+27pp. [Unpublished.]

ETOH, S. (1986)

Product development in the use of shrimp by-catch in Bangladesh. Infofish Marketing Digest, (5/86): 14- 16.

EVERETT, G.V., RAWSON, G.C. and CHOWDHURY, L.H. (1985)

Bangladesh: the strengthening of the Department of Fisheries. A report prepared for the Fisheries Advisory Services, Phase-ll, Project. FAO Field Document No. DP/BGD/81/034. Rome: FAO, vi + 128pp. + Annexes. [Unpublished.]

EXPORT PROMOTION BUREAU

Bangladesh Export Statistics 1985-86. Dhaka: EPB.

EXPORT PROMOTION BUREAU [?1985]

Bangladesh Export Statistics 1984-85. Dhaka: EPB, [viii]+ 133pp.

EXPORT PROMOTION BUREAU

Shrimp for export. Handbook on handling, processing, quality control and marketing. Dhaka: EPB.

FAO BAY OF BENGAL PROGRAMME (1985)

Marine small-scale fisheries of Bangladesh: a general description. Madras: FAO Bay of Bengal Programme, iv+59pp.

FAO/GLOBEFISH Highlights (1/87), 41 pp.

FARUQUE, O.A.J.M. (1983)

Research and development activities. Institute of Food Science and Technology.

FIELD PROGRAMME DEVELOPMENT DIVISION (1987)

A review of the role and potential of agricultural development in Bangladesh including external components. FAO. [Unpublished.]

HALL, D.N.F., MACKINTOSH, D.J., EYBEN, R.J. and MARTER, A.D. (1984)

The Neemgachi Fish Culture Project, Bangladesh. ODA Report: proposals for Second Phase. [ Unpublished. ]

INDIAN INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT, AHMEDEBAD (1984)

Marine fish marketing of India. (7 volumes) New Delhi: Concept Publishing Company.
LIMPUS, L.G. (1987)

Bangladesh: report on preparatory assistance consultancy to a new proposed project. Fish Inspection and Quality Control. FAO Project No. BGD/85/063. FAO, 20pp. + Annexes. I Unpublished. ]

MACKINTOSH, D.J. and PALFREMAN, S. (1987)

Socio-economic analysis of Dinajpur Region in relation to the Porbatipur fish culture project. Draft ODA report. [Unpublished.]

MARR, J.C. (Associates) (1985)

Twenty Year Fishery Development Plan for Bangladesh. (Report for FAO/ UNDP.) ii + 24pp. + Annexes.

PONNUTHURAI, K.S. (1973)

Report on the cooperative fishery movement in Bangladesh. New Delhi: International Cooperative Alliance, [vii] + 75PP

RAPPORT BANGLADESH LTD. (1986)

Report on Survey of Marketing of Fish and Shellfish in Bangladesh. FAO Project No.
DP/BGD/79/015-3FI. FAO, iv+l21pp.+Appendices. [Unpublished.]

(ROIDER, W.) (1986)

Institutional improvement of the Department of Fisheries. Mission Report. World
Bank Draft Report, 48pp.+Annexes. [Unpublished.]

SABUR, S.A. and RAHWAN, L. (1979)

Marine fish marketing in Bangladesh. Bangladesh Journal of Agricultural Economics, 2(1): 95-113.

SHAHIDULLAH, MD. (1986a)

Marine fisheries resources management in Bangladesh and current status of exploitation. Marine Fisheries Bulletin No. 3. Chittagong: Marine Fisheries Department (DOF), i + 29pp.

SHAHIDULLAH, MD. (1986b)

Current status of shrimp fishery of Bangladesh. (With special stress on off-shore shrimp trawling, production, processing and exports.) Marine Fisheries Bulletin No. 4. Chittagong: Marine Fisheries Department (DOF), [iii]+24pp.+Appendices.