A large number of farmers are now busy harvesting mung bean in the district that sees good yield of the popular vegetable.
Around 62,000 hectares of land has been brought under mung bean cultivation in the district this year while it was 60,000 hectares last year.
"I cultivated mung bean on my five hectares of land this year and expect 50 to 60 tonnes of yield as I got 45 tonnes from four hectares last year. It is more profitable than paddy cultivation," said Abul Kalam, a farmer of Char Kajal village in Galachipa upazila.
Md Mainul Islam of the same village said he has cultivated mung bean on six hectares of land and hopes to get 60 to 70 tonnes of yield. He has already harvested 40 tonnes.
During a recent visit to the area, this correspondent saw many farmers collecting mung bean at their fields.
Many women labourers are employed to collect the item as the harvest is going on in full swing. They get one-third of the collection as wage.
"I can collect 10 to 12 kg of mung bean daily and get 3 to 4 kg worth Tk 300 to 400 for the work. I have already earned five maunds of mung bean this season," said Amena Begum, a women labourer.
"Local farmers are very much interested to cultivate mung bean as it brings good profit. They get 900 kg to 1,200 kg of yield per hectare of land by cultivating high yielding varieties. Now a kg of mung bean is selling for Tk 80 to 100," said Abdus Salam, sub-assistant agriculture officer of Sadar upazila.
However, farmers had to irrigate their fields as there was scanty rain this season, he said.
Mung beans from Patuakhali are now exported to foreign countries including Japan and so, local farmers are getting good prices, said Md Ziaul Islam, crop specialist of the Department of Agriculture Extension.
At least 30 tonnes of mung bean was exported to Japan only from Dashmina upazila last year as a group of Japan businessmen bought the vegetable from local farmers, he said.