CDCS®Developed Grading Manual for Agricultural Produce, first-ever in Bangladesh

The Center for Development & Competitive Strategies Ltd. (CDCS®) developed the first-ever grading manual for agricultural produce in Bangladesh. The project, initiated by Swisscontact-Katalyst and partnered by Grameenphone and ACI,  aimed to establish au niform grading system relevant for Bangladesh context for some selected crops namely Potato, Egg Plant (Brinjal), Cucumber, Pumpkin, Green Chili, Dry Chili,Maize, Coriander, Mango and Banana.

The manual is expected to benefit a large set of smart suppliers throughout the country who would potentially be able to supply quality produce to different institutional and bulk buyers following a uniform set of quality/grading parameters as outlined in this manual.

The grading parameters outlined in this guidebook are based on information gathered through a rigorous research drive involving key informant interviews, depth interviews,and expert consultations. Primary information is collected from about 70institutional buyers, commission agents, traders and exporters who deal with the above mentioned items. Almost all major private sector players of this and related industries have contributed to this process by sharing their perspectives.

Besides, a pool of more than a dozen of agricultural and market development experts from CDCS® AgBAlliance®network have been consulted. Moreover, regional best practices involving the grading system of agro-produce have been studied. The findings were then presented in an Expert Panel Discussion meeting held in Dhaka, Bangladesh.Finally, the draft grading manual was presented in a day-long Stakeholder Validation Workshop participated by all major stakeholders and experts. The participants, praising CDCS® for this outstanding work, shared their thoughts that, at the end, helped finalize this guidebook. Ms. Syeda Farzana Morshed,Managing Director of CDCS® has been the project director, while Mr. Sheikh M.Jahan, Associate Professor, IBA, University of Dhaka, has been the advisor to the project.