Litchi, mango lie unsold in Dinajpur
Huge quantities of seasonal fruits including litchi and mango have remained stockpiled in the district as operators of trucks, buses and parcel service providers have virtually stopped carrying the two popular summer fruits amid formalin panic among the traders and buyers.
Sending of litchi and mango to other parts of the country including Dhaka has remained suspended for the last six days as authorities destroyed huge amount of formalin-treated fruits during recent drives in the capital, local traders said.
Litchi and mango have been produced on 4,000 hectares of land in Dinajpur this season, said sources of the Department Horticulture in Dinajpur.
Around 50 per cent of the litchi has already been sold off.
Although most of the remaining amount has ripened in the orchards, growers are making delay to pluck them due to lack of buyers and the ongoing heat wave is causing them to rot fast.
The number of buyers has dropped due to formalin panic as some dishonest people use the harmful item on the fruits to prevent rotting, said Azizar Rahman of Madhabbati village under Biral upazila of Dinajpur.
The growers demanded adequate action against the dishonest traders.
During a visit to the fruit market at Kalitola in Dinajpur town, the correspondent found that traders piled up large amount of litchi at their shops but there were no wholesale buyers.
Each hundred pieces of Bombay litchi and China-3 litchis were selling for Tk 200 and Tk 500 respectively although the prices were Tk 400 and Tk 1000 only a few days ago.
Mobile courts have continued anti-formalin drives at the markets in Dinajpur.
Executive Magistrate Md Mobarak Hossain, who conducted an anti-formalin drive at the litchi market at Kalitola in Dinajpur town on Monday, said he did not find any formalin in the fruits that time.
According to the litchi and mango growers of Dinajpur, the production of the two fruits dropped to half due to adverse weather and the days-long strike in late May added to their losses.
Now the formalin panic appears as a serious blow to their business, they said.