Rajshahi Bureau: Trading and marketing of litchi has reached peak everywhere in the region involving hundreds of labourers both male and female in harvesting, segregating and transportation of the delicious seasonal fruit.
Market sources said harvest has been continuing in full swing with plenty of supply, huge demand and better prices in the local markets making both the litchi growers and traders happier this season.
Seasonal traders set up makeshift shops at different points in the city especially Shaheb Bazar, Bindurmore, Laxmipur Bazar, Sheroil Bus Terminal, Railway station and Court bazaar with the eye-catching fruit.
Trader Faridul Islam at New Market gate area said yesterday that many farmers are harvesting litchi with the hope of getting good earnings.
He, however, said the market price of the mouth-watering fruit is comparatively high this season due to the less production. A comfortable situation everywhere in the society is very important to make any business profitable, Islam added.
Considering the low supply amid high demand, traders say prices may rise.
Mozammel Haque, a farmer of Duary village under Paba upazila, said he brought his litchis to the local wholesale market for sale on Monday.
“Price is good but the production was frustrating against expectations,” he added.
Dr Alim Uddin, principal scientific officer of Fruit Research Station, said that litchi is grown well in Rajshahi and Dinajpur districts in the country’s northwest region but the fruit of Ishwardi is very delicious and famous across the country. In Rajshahi, there are around
1,000 hectares of litchi orchards with new ones.
Alim said commercial farming of some of the fruits especially mango and litchi is gradually increasing in the region.
Ishwardi is now being adjudged as the capital of litchi as it possesses commercial litchi orchards on more than 3,000 hectares with around three lakh trees. Age of two lakh trees is above 15 years. Apart from this, there are scores of litchi trees on homesteads and adjacent areas throughout the upazila.
Upazila Agriculture Officer Mita Sarker said the number of trees is gradually increasing here as the farming is being judged as profitable.
She said around 230 crore litchis were produced here this season valued at around Tk 400 crore, adding the yield of litchi has been affected to some extent due to the scorching heat and low rain. But in all aspects, there will be an expected yield, she hoped.
Meanwhile, huge quantities of litchi including the standard varieties are being sold daily from the region to the country’s other parts including capital Dhaka and its supply still remains plenty in the local markets following bumper production.
Presently, every 100 pieces of local variety litchi are selling at rates between Tk 200 and 230, Madrazi, Bombay and China-3 varieties at rates between Tk 250 and 260 and aristocrat Bedana variety in between Tk 270 and 350 in the local markets.
Like the previous years, the big traders from Munshiganj, Dhaka and other places have already purchased all litchis of orchards with China-3, China-4 and Bedana varieties and started marketing those in the capital and other areas.
Deputy Director of the Department of Agricultural Extension Mozdar Hossain said many people became self-reliant by cultivating litchi in recent years.
He said there are hundreds of litchi orchards on more than 1,000 hectares of land that produce huge yields which meet the local demand as well as being consigned to other parts of the country every year.
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