SASKATOON - Saskatchewan has a new customer for the province's potash.
A contract with Bangladesh worth US$40 million will see Canpotex Ltd. supply 120,000 metric tonnes of potash to the Asian country in the next year.
There's also an option worth another US$20 million for an additional 60,000 metric tonnes of the pink mineral used in fertilizer.
Premier Brad Wall was in Saskatoon when the Canadian Commercial Corp. and the Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corp. signed the deal.
Wall said the agreement will provide more jobs in the potash industry.
He also said the deal was planted when he visited Bangladesh a few years ago.
"We took part in a trade mission about three years ago and I had a chance to meet with the prime minister of Bangladesh at the time," Wall said at the signing Wednesday.
"I talked a bit about fertilizer knowing that we weren't moving any fertilizer (to them) just then."
PotashCorp is one of three branches of Canpotex. CEO Bill Doyle said shipping potash to Bangladesh shows a true change in agriculture in that country.
"Rice is a huge one, but they also grow all sorts of vegetable," Doyle said. "They're self-sufficient now in food. A lot of people don't realize how far Bangladesh has come over the years.
"It's a tremendous accomplishment because they used to have to import a tremendous amount of food, which was a huge drain on their treasury."
Doyle said the contract is actually quite small compared to others. Canpotex struck a potash deal with India for more than one million metric tonnes.