Monday, June 24, 2024

Bureaucratic tangles delay crocodile export

The maiden shipment of crocodile export from Bangladesh is going to be delayed due to bureaucratic tangles, claimed the top executive of Reptiles Farm Limited, country’s lone crocodile farm.
Despite applying about four months ago, the organisation is yet to get permission to export the unconventional item, causing failure to meet the deadline of the first export order, he said.
In July, the crocodile farm received an order about $100,000 from Germany’s Heidelberg University for exporting 67 crocodiles to be used for research purpose.
The frozen crocodiles were supposed to be exported within December.
‘It is pure bureaucratic complexity. I applied to the department of forest under the ministry of environment and forest on August 31 for permission to export crocodiles. Sadly, we have not yet received the permission,’ Mushtaq Ahmed, managing director and chief executive officer of the farm, told New Age.
He said that after a long time an expert committee of the department of forest on December 10 decided in favour of giving permission to export.
‘Now the matter will be forwarded to the ministry of environment and forest for opinion. I do not know how long it will take. The file has not yet been sent,’ Mushtaq said.
He said that having received the export order, all the logistics have been put in place for shipment.
Mushtaq said, ‘If the shipment can not be made within December, there will be a difference in price as the issues of freight and airfare are involved with the process.’
‘Besides, the buyers will lose confident on the exporter and the reputation of my farm will be damaged, which may result in even loss of business,’ he added.
He said, ‘Now, it will not be possible to make the shipment in December. We will have to renegotiate the whole thing.’
Mustaq said that his farm has already been registered with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, an organisation that ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.
When contacted, officials of the department of forest could not specifically say as to how long it would take for the crocodile farm to receive the export permission.
‘It is the matter for the ministry. I do not know how long it is going to take to make a decision,’ Haque Mahbub, assistant conservator of forest, told New Age.
Asked if the department is taking too much time to make a decision, he declined to make any comments.
Mahbub, however, said that the crocodile farm has yet to complete the tagging of the crocodiles despite advising them to do so.
According to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, all the crocodiles at the farm should be tagged, he added.
About the tagging, the managing director of Reptile Farm said that they had procured enough tags for the crocodiles that would be exported. ‘But it will take quite a long time to tag all the crocodiles in the farm.’
He said, ‘I do not see it as a big problem,’
Mahbub of the department of forest further said that since the crocodile export is new in the country, the department tried to get the clearance from CITES that took some more time.
He said that the file would be forwarded to the ministry shortly for opinion.
Talking to New Age, Tapan Kumar Dey, conservator of forest, said he does not know exactly how long it would take for the farm to get the permission.
He, however, assured of doing everything possible to expedite the process.
With an area of 15 acres, the crocodile farm was set up in October 2004 at Hatiber village under Bhaluka Upazila in Mymensingh district. Initially, 75 crocodiles were brought from Malaysia for commercial breeding. Eight of them died on the way to the farm. There are now more than 800 crocodiles of different ages. The initial investment was Tk 5 crore, which now stands nearly at Tk 8 crore.

Courtesy of NewAgebd

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