Background and FAEA Program: Despite a rapidly growing population and economy, Bangladesh lacks a well-functioning regulatory system to support a modern food and agricultural system, which has impacted agricultural trade. USDA has been working with Bangladesh to increase its ability to comply with international trade standards and to develop into a productive trading partner for the U.S. and other countries.
Bangladesh’s food safety policies and regulations are relatively new. The implementation, monitoring, and enforcement of the food safety regulations continues to be an area of concern for consumers, as well as businesses involved in agricultural trade, production, and processing. In terms of legislation, the Food Safety Act of 2013 is the key over-arching legislation for food safety in Bangladesh. There are over 20 government ministries and departments involved in food, feed, and veterinary drug safety, including the Ministry of Food, Ministry of Agriculture, and the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock.
Bangladesh has been a World Trade Organization (WTO) member since January 1, 1995 and a member of GATT since December 12, 1972. Bangladesh has undertaken major reforms of the Customs Administration to facilitate trade and reduce its dependency on customs duty.
FAEA commissioned a study in 2019 to assess the food safety regulatory system in Bangladesh. Based on the research findings and recommendations, the Executive Director traveled there to get ideas and recommendations for potential activities and to identify potential collaborating partners.
Results: FAEA signed an MOU with the International Development Group (IDG) to collaborate with them in implementing the food safety and SPS technical assistance and education activities of USAID’s Feed the Future (FTF) program. We also hired a consultant (Alcumus Bangladesh) to provide monthly reports on all developments related to food and feed safety regulations/issues as well as standards.
Next Steps: FAEA will jointly identify capacity building activities with IDG for collaborative implementation in 2021. Alcumus is gathering information and submitting monthly reports to FAEA for informing future activities and intervention, as needed.
 Source: Foreign Agricultural Service FAIRS GAIN Report, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 12-31-2019