Bangladesh's export sector has opened a new door, with the first shipment of black seed oil from the country reaching Australia for the first time on Thursday.
People concerned said this is the first time black seed oil has been exported from Bangladesh.
The first shipment of 300kg black seed oil reached the port of Sydney, Sayed Munirul Haque, plant quarantine pathologist of Chattogram port, told The Business Standard.
He said, "Bangladesh currently exports readymade garments, ceramic products, medicines and leather goods to Australia. The country's export sector has entered a new era with the export of black seed oil."
"Delivering the first shipment of black seed oil was a challenge for us. Exporting goods to Australia is much more difficult than it is to Europe and the USA since Australia follows a strict quarantine policy to ensure the quality of products from abroad," he said.
He added, "As such, our black seed oil had to go through several tests at the Bangladesh Standards & Testing Institution (BSTI) and the Science Laboratory for the last three months."
Fitrah Private Limited, a Sydney based company, imported the products from Bangladesh. Omar Faruk, a Bangladeshi businessman living in Australia, initiated the export.
He said, "I was working on how to introduce Bangladeshi products in Australia. I saw that there is a huge demand for black seed oil here. Companies in this country import this product from India, Lebanon and Jordan. If black seed oil from Bangladesh gets a good response here, it will create a new opportunity for our export sector."
"The black seeds have been collected from different areas of Bangladesh, including Naogaon. The quality of our oil is very good. So, hopefully, it will make a good impression in the Australian markets," he added.
"In future, we have plans to cultivate black seeds in Chattogram to produce oil for export," Omar Faruk further said.
According to Global Market Insights, the demand for black seed oil increased among consumers in the developed world, including Australia, during the Covid-19 pandemic due to its medicinal qualities. In 2020, the global market for this product exceeded $17.5 million which could rise to more than $30 million by 2027.
In North America, the most common use of black seed oil is in the pharmaceutical industry. However, in Europe, its use has increased in cosmetic products. In the Asia Pacific region, it is used mostly as an ingredient in food items.
The seeds of the Nigella sativa plant, which is primarily grown in Southwest Asia and some regions of the Middle East, are used to make black seed oil.
Experts say it has therapeutic qualities and can be used as a successful treatment for a number of conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, respiratory infections, etc.