A village of crabs, in Dhaka!
It was early morning. The sun had not yet risen, and most of Dhaka was still sleeping.
However, it was peak business hours for some residents in Uttara's Nalbhog area.
There was a kilometre-long line of parked trucks on both sides of the road. Small baskets full of crabs, which came from farms in different coastal regions of the country, were being unloaded from the trucks.
According to Bangladesh Live and Chilled Food Exporters Association (BLCFEA), Bangladesh exports more than 7,000 tonnes of crabs a year. Nalbhog area in Uttara is the place from where around 200 commercial companies operate their crab exporting business.
Previously, crab-packing factories were built in various parts of the capital. However, because the airport is close by, the majority of this industry's packing factories have been established in Nalbhog. As a result, it became known as the "Village of Crabs (Kakrar Gram)".
The exporters association has approximately 200 members, with 60-70 of them actively involved in the processing of crabs for export from the area.
After unloading the baskets, the workers clean the crabs by separating male crabs from the females, said Rafiqullah, member of a crab-exporting firm.
He explained that after weighing, they process the crabs, and pack them into plastic or cardboard boxes. Then they become ready for shipment, and are sent to various countries.
These correspondents found crab farmers coming from Khulna, Satkhira, Noakhali, Patuakhali, Chattogram and Cox's Bazar at the site.
According to Khairuddin Ahmed, chairman of BLCFEA, around 20 to 25 tonnes of crabs are exported from Bangladesh every day, amounting to more than 7,000 tonnes per year.
But Gazi Abul Hashem, a former chairman of the association, said, "We suffered losses during the Covid period because there was an export ban."
"I was forced to shut down my business," he added.
But the current chairman says the situation has improved now.
"As China has removed the ban on crabs imported from Bangladesh, around 15 to 20 companies have already gotten permission and started exporting crabs like before, " he added.