Liton Pathan, Sylhet Bureau Chief:
After the disappointment of litchi farmers in the crop failure in Madhabpur of Habiganj, now the buyers are returning disappointed when they go to the market to buy litchi. Although litchi is available in Madhabpur market, the price is double this time as compared to last year. Lower and middle class people are not able to taste litchi at sky-high prices as the yield of litchi in the upazila is about 80 percent less than last year. Moreover, the taste and quality of litchi is less than other years, the buyers said.
Going to Madhabpur market, it is seen that litchi has risen in the market but it is much less than other times. Many shops in the market are empty due to lack of litchi. According to market research, the price of Bedana variety of litchi is being demanded from Rs. 230 to Rs. Last year, Bedana varieties of litchi were sold at Rs 300 to Rs 500 per variety and Madrasi litchis were sold at Rs 100 to Rs 150 (per cent). Mature China-Three and other varieties of litchi have not yet reached the market. And the Bombay variety of litchi did not produce at all this time. Asked about the price, Raich Mia, a litchi trader in Madhabpur market, said there were no litchis in the orchards this time. The small quantity of litchi that the garden owners are bringing to the market has to be bought at a higher price in the face of competition. That is why they have to buy at a higher price and sell at a higher price with a small profit. He admits that many people are going back without buying litchi due to high prices.
Nannu Roy, another trader in the market, said that this time there is no litchi in the garden. The amount of litchi that has been harvested will be over in a week. Azgar Ali, a buyer who came to the market to buy litchi, said that since there is litchi in Madhabpur, he has to send litchi to his relatives and friends every year. But the price in the market is double compared to last year. With the cost of baskets, packing and courier, the price of Bedana litchi will be around one thousand rupees. That means a litchi costs 5 rupees. It is not possible to send litchi to different places of the country at this price. It is impossible to buy litchi at this price and give it to the family. So you have to meet the taste of litchi not by experimenting. Another buyer in the market, Majid Mia, said the price at which litchi was being sold was not affordable for middle-class people like us. Only aristocrats and government officials are buying litchi at this price.
In this situation, he is disappointed when he comes to buy litchi. Malek, who came to the market to buy litchi, said that although the price has almost doubled this time, the taste and quality of litchi is not the same as last year. So they are not getting the real taste of litchi even if they buy it at a higher price.
There are a total of 100 litchi trees in Baradhalia and Jaluabad and Chaumuhani gardens of Madhabpur upazila. But only 45 trees have borne fruit. He is disappointed that most of the trees do not produce litchi. He said the loss. As much as the yield of litchi has come on him, how will he continue if he doesn’t get a little more price? Due to natural calamities, it can be said that there is no litchi crop this time. The annual income-expenditure calculation has to be done around this litchi. But this time he is frustrated with how to calculate the income-expenditure figure as there is no litchi yield.
Madhabpur Upazila Agriculture Officer Mohammad Al Mamun Hasan said there are many gardens in the upazila. But due to natural reasons, litchi did not come to many trees this time. This time, due to natural calamities and weather conditions, litchi yield has been disrupted.