Guava growers profit, tourists frustrated | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 10, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:10 AM, August 10, 2018

Floating Guava Market

Guava growers profit, tourists frustrated

The guava growers in Jhalakathi and Pirojpur are doing better profit, but the tourists who come to visit the floating guava market at Vimrul in Jhalakathi Sadar upazila expressed frustration due to lack of facilities.

The growers in the districts are doing good business due to developed road communication and availability of modern technology.

Farmers of about 25 villages in the two districts have been growing guava for  years.

From the beginning of July to August is the peak season of the fruit but this time its prices fall, many farmers said.

The floating guava market is the biggest of its kind in the country where hundreds of boats with fresh guava come to sell it to wholesale buyers every morning.

The farmers had no choice but to sell their products to some selected buyers who came to the floating market with trawlers and the buyers made a syndicate to buy the guava in cheap rates, they said.

“I had to leave the guavas in canal water three years ago as none wanted to buy it when buyers were limited.” said elderly Satish Halder in Swarupkathi under Pirojpur.

But the situation has changed after making road networking with the floating market two years ago and now hundreds of buyers come to the market across the country to buy guava and different types of vegetables.  

“Now we can bargain for fair price with the buyers,” he said, adding that he sold a kilogram guava at Tk 5 to 10 and is happy with the price.

On Fridays they get more profit as thousands of tourists come to visit the market and buy guavas, said Makhon Mistry, 70, adding that he had got highest profits this year in his life time.  

“We directly sent guava to different big cities in the country after getting order from wholesale market over cellphone and get good price.” said Manab Mandal, a university student also involved with guava farming. 

For developed road communication and available networks, farmers are able to send their products at different places with good profit, said Sheikh Abu Bakar Siddik, deputy director of agriculture extension office.

He said the guavas are free from chemicals. 

Meanwhile, tourists said they are facing problems at the floating guava market at Vimruli for lack of washrooms and restrooms. 

Hundreds of tourists from home and abroad come to visit the market and guava gardens from the beginning of July to October. The markets are full during that time as it is the ripening season of guavas, locals said.

Although the natural beauty attracts them, lack of toilets, restrooms and good restaurants causes many problems for them, several tourists told this correspondent.

“I needed to go to the toilet but I did not find any good arrangement for that, so I had to hurry back to the hotel room in Barisal,” said Mohammad Azad, a businessman from Dhaka.

“We thought we would get some facilities, but we could not find a place to change our dress,” said Shusmita Roy, a university student from Dhaka.

“We wanted to pass the whole day to enjoy the beauty of the guava market and gardens, but we have to leave the place now (around 11:00am) as we need a washroom,” said Sumi Aktar, a university student from Patuakhali. 

Another tourist Farjana Aktar said they needed a room to change their dresses for taking photos wearing different coloured dresses, but they could not do so due to lack of restroom.

Twenty to thirty thousand tourists come to visit the area on Fridays and Saturdays and on public holidays.

“The place needs at least 20 restrooms and 20 toilets and bathrooms for the convenience of the tourists,” said Suvrojeet Halder, owner of a restaurant in the market.

“We have taken up a project for constructing washrooms and refreshment rooms in the area as well as a shed where tourists can take shelter during rain,” said Sadar Upazila Nirbahi Officer Md Atahar Mia.

He said they have plan to build a market from where tourists could buy local products.

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