Around 65,000 pineapples of a farmer in Tangail's Ghatail were damaged by mistakenly spraying weed killer instead of growth hormones.
The incident happened in Foitamari village, and the pineapple grower who suffered the loss is Mofazzal Miah.
Mofazzal told The Daily Star that he had planted 70,000 pineapple saplings on nine bighas of land.
From the beginning, he was buying agro-inputs, including growth hormones and pesticides, for his orchard from pesticide trader Ashish Kumar Saha at Sagardighee Bazar, he said.
"On May 13, when I went to his shop for buying vitamins (local farmers called growth hormones vitamins) superfix and flora, Ashish gave me the medicines after packing," Mofazzal said.
"I got these vitamins sprayed on my orchard by a labourer the next day. After three days, I saw the plants along with the fruits dying. Then I found that Ashish gave me weed killer 'emiraxon' in stead of vitamin superfix," he alleged.
"I later went to Ashish and told him about the matter. He then gave me another medicine and suggested spraying it on my damaged orchard," he said.
"As per his instruction, I also sprayed the medicine on my orchard but got no results," he said.
Mofazzal also said he cultivated pineapple after borrowing several lakh taka. "Now what can I do? How can I repay the loans?" a wailing Mofazzal asked.
But Ashish did not agree to sit with him to discuss the matter, he said.
Contacted, Ashish said after using the weed killer on the orchard, Mofazzal informed him that he got weed killer instead of growth hormones.
It was a mistake from both sides as buyers should check what they bought, Ashish said, adding that now he had nothing to do in this regard.
On the other hand, Mofazzal said he lodged a written complaint with Ghatail upazila nirbahi officer in this regard, mentioning that he incurred a loss of Tk 14-15 lakh.
The UNO directed the upazila agriculture officer to investigate the incident and submit a report, he added.
This correspondent failed to contact the upazila agriculture officer despite repeated attempts.
Assistant Agriculture Officer Sekandar Ali said the agriculture officer would sit with both sides over the matter.
According to the Department of Agricultural Extension in Tangail, pineapple is cultivated on about 8,000 hectares of land in Madhupur and Ghatail upazilas.
Oblivious to potential health hazards and ruining the taste of the pineapple, growers spray hormones on pineapple untimely and excessively to increase the fruit size and to ripen it.