Watermelon sells at Tk 3-4 a piece for want of buyers
Frustration has gripped watermelon growers as they are not getting fair price of the fruit due to lack of an adequate number of buyers in Patuakhali wholesale markets.
Price of watermelon has come down significantly at wholesale markets in the district town. Now a medium size watermelon is being sold at Tk 3 to 4. But the price of the same was Tk 8 to 10 a week ago.
Farmers from different villages and char areas of Patuakhali and Barguna districts carry watermelons in boat, launch and truck to New Market, Puran Bazar and Badghat Bazar in Patuakhali town. They are to sell their produce at cheaper rate as the presence of the buyers in these wholesale markets is very poor.
Farmer Habibur Rahman, who came to Patuakhali town from Khakdhon village in Barguna Sadar upazila, told this correspondent that he cultivated watermelon on two acres of land and had earned Tk 80,000 by selling 15,000 watermelons last week.
I brought 40,000 more watermelon to sell here, but I cannot sell them due to significant fall in price,” he said.
Bahadur of Champapur union of Kalapara upazila said he had spent Tk 55,000 to cultivate watermelon on 2.5 acres of land. “I have to incur a huge loss due to price fall of watermelon in wholesale markets,” he said.
Many farmers in char areas of Patuakhali and Barguna districts had to pluck unripe watermelon from their land submerged by rain water and tidal surges from the adjoining river.
Khairul Islam, a buyer of New Market, said price of watermelon has reduced rapidly due its abundant supply in the markets. The presence of an adequate number of buyers is also an important factor, he added.
“We have sold 1,000 watermelons at Tk 10,000 only two week ago. Now we are selling the same number of the fruit only at Tk 3,000 to 4,000, he further said.
Sources in the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) in Patuakhali, said, 25,218 acres of land have been brought under watermelon cultivation in the district this year.