Believe it or not, guava is selling at Tk 5 per kg at the wholesale markets in Pirojpur, Jhalakathi and Barishal districts.
Amid lack of demand, ripe guava is falling off and rotting in the gardens.
The price sees a drastic fall as much less than usual number of wholesalers are coming from outside during the coronavirus pandemic, guava traders and growers said during the two correspondents' visit to Bhimruli, a famous floating guava market in Jhalakathi Sadar upazila, on Friday.
Kuriana in Nesharabad upazila of Pirojpur is another big floating guava market in the region.
Tourists, potential buyers of guava, are also rarely seen now.
In previous years, over a thousand tonne of guava was daily sold in ten wholesale centres including Bhimruli of Jhalakati and Kuriana of Pirojpur in the peak time of July to mid-August, but this year the sale came down to below half, said growers, wholesalers and officials of the Department of Agriculture Extension.
Although guava is sold at Tk 5 per kg in rural markets, it is selling at Tk 30 per kg in Barisal city and Tk 60 per kg in Dhaka city.
In Barishal Region, over 20 thousand tonnes of guava worth Tk 30 crore is produced every year in around 2077 hectares of land in 43 villages of
Pirojpur, Jhalakathi and Barishal.
Pabitra Mandal of Shatadashkathi village in Jhalakathi Sadar said he could not sell guava in two of his orchards this season.
"I am sending 200 maunds of guava to Dhaka daily whereas it was at least 500 maunds in other years," said Zakir Hossain, a guava trader of Bhimruli village.
"Due to coronavirus pandemic, big wholesalers of Dhaka, Narayanganj and Chattogram are not coming like previous years,'' said Fayzuddin, a wholesale trader of Kuriana union under Nesearabad.
Nityananda Samaddar, president of "Peara-Amra Bagan Malik Samity at Kuriana", said setting up of fruit processing industry is needed to save the farmers from loss.
"The authorities set up a free WiFi zone at Bhimruli guava wholesale centre, but it is rarely used by guava growers. The connection is very slow. Cooperation at the government level is needed for marketing of guava," he said.
Fiorj Ahamed, assistant programmer at the district administration of Jhalakati, admitted that the 4G connection at WiFi zone at Bhimruli guava market sometimes become dysfunctional.
Locals demanded arrangement for proper marketing and setting up a cold storage to preserve guava so that growers do not incur loss, said Chapal Krish Debnath, upazila agriculture officer of Nesarabad.
"We demand loan facilities for survival," said Tapos Samaddar, a guava trader of Adabari village in Nesarabad upazila.