Swiss super shop selling vegetables grown in Zajira

Vegetables and fruits grown in Shariatpur's Zajira at a Petracca super shop in Switzerland.

Vegetables and fruits grown in Zajira upazila of Shariatpur are being sold at different branches of a super shop in Switzerland. Residents from different areas in Switzerland are able to buy these vegetables and fruits through that super shop named Petracca.

An export trading company named Global Trade Link exported vegetables and fruits from Bangladesh to super shop Petracca for the first time in last February.

Green chili, bottle gourd, arum, okra, string beans, flat beans, taro, cucumber, red spinach, spinach, zara lemon, drumstick among vegetables and guava, sweet jujube, wood-apple,  pineapple and bananas among fruits were sent in that consignment.  

Shariatpur deputy commissioner Parvez Hasan told Prothom Alo, “A Swiss chain shop is importing vegetables and fruits grown in Zajira. We have already contacted France and Greece as well.”

“Our officials working there have talked to the importers of those countries. They have shown interest in importing mango. Requisition of fruits and vegetables will be coming soon from those two countries as well,” he added.

Owner of exporting trading company Global Trade Link, Kawsar Ahmed told Prothom Alo, “Till now, Bangladeshi businessmen residing in different countries around the world have been importing vegetables and fruits from us.”

“We are selling our vegetables and fruits to European businessmen now. We are sending vegetables and fruits grown in Zajira to Switzerland for the fifth time. Swiss super shop Petracca has imported these vegetables and fruits,” he added.

Mentioning that the latest shipment of vegetables and fruits were sent off to Switzerland on Monday, Kawsar Ahmed said, “We are sending green chili, bottle gourd, arum, flat bean, okra, pineapple and wood-apple in this shipment.”

“After those vegetables and fruits had gone through central packing and cooling procedures, they were handed over to concerned authorities. The consignments will go to Switzerland on a flight of Ettihad Airways at 5:00pm today (Monday),” he continued.

Shariatpur agricultural department and district administration sources said, a seminar on exporting safe vegetables and fruits was held in Zajira last 9 December.

Local administration and exporters had given an announcement to export vegetables to Europe there.

Export trading company BH Trade International sought assistance from the upazila agricultural officer showing interest in exporting a shipment of bottle gourd, green chili and arum from Chashibazar in Zajira’s Mirasha to Switzerland.

As per the requisition of that company, agricultural officers collected 65 killograms of green chili, 65 arums and 20 bottle gourds from the farmers.

Deputy commissioner Parvez Hasan said that the first shipment of vegetables grown in Zajira went to Switzerland on last 4 January.

Those vegetables were sold in the shops of Bangladeshi traders living in Switzerland’s Zurich. In fact, these vegetables were also bought by Bangladeshis.

At the time, different media including Prothom Alo published news of Zajira’s vegetables being sold in Switzerland. The news caught attention of Alamgir Kabir, commercial councilor of Bangladesh High Commission located in Geneva.

He then contacted the deputy commissioner of Shariatpur. Alongside, he talked to officials of different super shops in Switzerland as well. Petracca, among them responded.

Later, Bangladeshi exporters signed an agreement with Petracca with help from the agriculture ministry. These vegetables, grown in Bangladesh maintaining Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), are available in every branch of Switzerland Petracca, under that agreement.

Department of Agricultural Extension, Shariatpur sources reported that different agricultural goods are grown on 85,000 hectares of land across Shariatpur. The highest amount of vegetables is grown in Zajira upazila though.