Good yield of amra (hog plum) fails to make the growers happy as the prices have fallen during the peak harvesting season.
The vitamin-rich sweet and sour fruit grows well in different districts of Barisal division.
Barishal, Pirojpur and Jhalakathi produced a total of 20,387 tonnes of amra last year and the cultivation areas in the three districts were 353, 465 and 650 hectares of land respectively, said sources at the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) in Barishal division.
This year saw higher yield from the same areas of land, they said.
Flowers appear in trees in the Bangla months of Magh and Falgun (mid-January to mid-March) and the fruit is plucked from Ashar to Ashwin (mid-June to mid-September).
There is better yield of the fruit this season although plucking started a bit late, said farmers.
Several growers said they have to sell the fruit at Tk 700 to Tk 800 per maund (40 kg) to the local wholesalers whereas last year’s prices ranged from Tk 900 to Tk 1000.
Visiting Nabagram village in Jhalakathi Sadar, this correspondent found labourers busy plucking amra while wholesalers were engaged in packaging the fruit.
“Despite high yield of the fruit this year, we are not happy due to its lower prices,” said Fazlur Rahman, an amra grower in the area.
Several wholesalers said they would not be able to make expected profit due to the price fall this season.
“I bought the seasonal yield of an amra orchard covering one hectare of land for Tk 3 lakh with hope to make a profit of Tk 2 lakh, after spending for the maintenance and marketing. Now it seems that the expectation won’t be met,” said Niranjan Adhikari, a trader of Atghar area in Swarupkathi upazila of Pirojpur.
Abu Hena Md Abu Zafar, deputy director of DAE in Pirojpur, said they are planning to set up a market where hog plum growers would be able to sell directly to the buyers and get good profit.