No one can deny the convenience of a frozen packet of finely chopped cowpeas, almost instantly ready to be used for cooking any dish.
Once opened, a refrigerated packet of cowpeas will have a shelf life of up to two years. So, there is no rush to use it up in one day.
Besides cowpeas, a company named Euro Food is offering packaged slices of green mango, beans, okra, stem of taro plant, green chilli, jackfruit seeds, bean seeds, red spinach, taro root and drumstick vegetable for sale at their stall in the 7th BAPA Foodpro International Expo, 2019.
The three-day fair, organised by Bangladesh Agro-Processors' Association (BAPA) at the International Convention City Bashundhara in Dhaka, kicked off on Thursday.
Entrepreneurs announced their plan to increase export revenue from the processed food sector to $2 billion within the next two years at the expo's inauguration ceremony.
Euro Food officials told The Business Standard, "There are many vegetables and fruits which are only available during a particular season. However, some people want to taste them all year round. Our lineup of frozen vegetables and fruits will satisfy the demand of these foodies.
"An increasing number of people are leading a busy day-to-day life, so they are leaning more towards frozen food products. The Euro Food is taking this opportunity to market its range of products."
The company has been marketing other products such as packaged singara, samosa and sea fish for some time. The Euro Food exports 95 percent of its products. Of the company's 300 products, only 30 are available in various supershops across the capital.
Md Masudur Rahman, manager (sales and marketing) of the Euro Food said, "Most of our products are being exported, especially to the United Kingdom market. We can only export to that market when a representative from that country certifies us.
"This is why we never compromise the quality of our products."
Many other companies are showcasing their own range of frozen food products. Packaged frozen paratha, roti, chicken roll, chicken nugget, popcorn, samosa, singara, pasta and various types of pithas have become very popular among the consumers on the first day of the expo.
The fair is taking place across four halls of the International Convention City Bashundhara. Many companies are displaying their lineup of products, including biscuits, juice, drinks, chips and spices.
Besides, different companies from China, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia are showcasing their technology related to this sector. Entrepreneurs said the use such technology will help Bangladesh produce better quality products.
Addressing the inauguration ceremony of the expo, Agriculture Minister Dr Abdur Razzak said, "The expo is a platform for cooperation among entrepreneurs from different stages. Some companies have brought modern technology, while others brought various products.
"Agricultural products are becoming more and more popular in Bangladesh, and the export is gradually increasing too."
International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh in a research had found the presence of chromate (a type of colour) in domestically produced turmeric power, which is very harmful to pregnant mothers and children.
Calling upon everyone not to use chromate in turmeric powder, Bangladesh Food Safety Authority's Chairperson Syeda Sarwar Jahan said, "Ingredient that is harmful to health must not be used in food products.
"Those not adhering to our directive will face legal action."
The sector generated $371 million in revenue in the previous fiscal year.