Now, crocodiles are Bangladesh’s new export item

June 5th, 2010 - 5:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, June 5 (IANS) Bangladesh has a new item on its export list - crocodiles. The first consignment that has just left for Germany is worth $100,000, a media report said Saturday.
The maiden export was conducted Friday by the Reptile Farm Ltd., country’s lone crocodile farm, five years after it began farming the reptile.

The farm, located in the Hatiber village in northern Mymensingh district, now has 825 saltwater crocodiles.

Finding crocodiles should not be a problem in a country criss-crossed by rivers, said Mustaq Ahmed, managing director of the farm, adding that this consignment is of 67 frozen saltwater crocodiles.

Germany’s Heidelberg University is importing the reptiles, of sizes between 12 inches and 14 feet, for research, Ahmed said.

“If the shipment reaches in time, scope for export of crocodiles from the country will widen,” the New Age newspaper reported on its website quoting him as saying.

The country’s maiden move to export crocodiles was delayed several times due to bureaucratic tangles over issuance of permits to exporters.

He said the farm was ready to export crocodiles to Germany in December, but it could not be undertaken as the forest department did not give the green signal then.

The farm began commercial breeding of crocodiles by importing the reptiles from Malaysia.

Ahmed said they had set up the farm with the aim of exporting over 5,000 crocodile skins annually and earning up to $5 million by 2015.

France, Germany, Italy and Spain, have shown keen interest in importing crocodile skins from the farm, he said.

Bangladesh’s principal exports are readymade garments and manpower.

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