Bangladesh exports crocs to Germany next month

January 30, 2010

Bangladesh is going to first-ever crocodile export next month as the country’s lone croc farm has finally obtained permission from the concerned authorities to this end, reports BSS.
‘We have finally got the permission from the Department of Forest on January 21 that paved the way for our croc export,’ Mushtaq Ahmed, Managing Director and CEO of Reptile Farm Ltd told the news agency Friday.
He added: ‘We have sought permission from the DoF to export 67 frozen crocodiles to Germany and import 10 live parent crocs from Malaysia on August 31, but after examining different aspects for about five months, the department at last gave permission.’
Mushtaq also said that their farm was ready to export crocodiles to Germany in December last, but it could not be possible as the DoF did not give green signal to them.
According to the agreement with the Heidelberg University of Germany, he said, their farm is going to export 67 frozen crocodiles ranging from nine inches to five feet in length to the university next month. ‘The university is importing the crocs for research purpose,’ Mushtaq said.
He said that the maiden export of crocodiles from Bangladesh would fetch $1,00,00, ushering in a hope of croc business in the country.
Mushtaq said the farm, situated at Hatiber village under Bhaluka upazila in Mymensingh district, has now 825 saltwater crocodiles, of them, 67 are big size (average length 14 feet) and the rest are small to medium size ( 9 inches to five feet), he added.
After the end of the last year’s breeding season (July- September), he said, 411 baby crocodiles were born at their farm, which was 240 in 2008 and 140 in 2007.
He along with Mesbahul Huq, a pharmacist, set up the croc farm at Hatiber village on 15 acres of land.
While the project is Mushtaq’s brainchild, it was Huq’s investment that helped turn the dream into a reality.
The two entrepreneurs were aided in their maiden venture with technical assistance from South Asian Enterprise Development Facility and with financial support from the equity and entrepreneur fund unit of Bangladesh Bank. RFL also received assistance from Southeast Bank Ltd.
The duo brought 75 reptiles ranging from 7 feet to 12 feet in lengths from Malaysia for commercial breeding of crocs at a cost of Taka 1.25 crore. Of them, eight died on the way to the farm established in October 2004.
Mushtaq said they set up the farm with an aim to export over 5,000 pieces of crocodile skin annually and create a base for earning up to US$ 5 million by 2015.
Different countries, including France, Germany, Italy and Spain, have shown keen interest in importing croc skins from their farm, he said, expressing hope that their farm would be able to export 500 croc skins by next two or three years.
He said there is a huge demand for croc skins, meat and bones in Europe, America and other developed countries like Australia, Japan, Singapore and China, and charcoal made from crocodile bones is indispensable to the global perfume industry. To meet this demand, he opined, more croc farms could be set up in Bangladesh.
Mushtaq, however, stressed the need for simplification of the procedures by the concerned department for exporting crocs from Bangladesh, saying that otherwise none would come forward for this unconventional business.

Image Courtesy: NewAgebd

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