Buyers and traders crowded a wholesale winter vegetable market at Dohazari Upazila on Wednesday. -AA
Different types of winter vegetables, including cauliflower, are brought to Dohazari Bazar in Chandanaish upazila of Chattogram for sale on Friday. farmers are bringing winter vegetable to the market through waterway. Vegetables are taken to different parts of the country, including the capital, from the market by traders.
Kitchen markets across the Chattogram are flooded with new winter vegetables. Surprisingly, their prices are within the reach of the lower middle class compared to last week, and have not shot up abnormally.
Traders said that supplies of common vegetables, such as cauliflower, cabbage and beans, have increased, resulting in a fall in the prices of these items. The price of gourd has dropped by more than half compared to last week.
On visiting several retail kitchen markets in Chattogram, including kitchen markets in No-2 Gate and Kazir Dewry areas and Karnaphuli Complex Market in Chattogram, this correspondent found that vendors were selling some vegetables at lower prices compared to last week.
However, garlic, a prime cooking ingredient, has become costlier. Its retail price has increased to Tk. 150-170 per kg for both local and imported varieties, up from Tk. 130-150 per kg last week. Again, the prices of all types of rice have shot up. Supplies of early winter vegetables have been increasing and the prices of some have declined.
Traders said vegetable prices will fall further in the next one-and-a-half months until the early winter crops hit the market. Tomatoes are among the highest priced vegetables in the kitchen markets now.
On Friday, 1 kg of tomato was being sold at Tk. 140 and imported carrots at Tk. 90-110 per kg at the retail level. Beans were selling at Tk. 30, against last week's Tk. 120-140. A vendor said that the price of beans has dropped to one-fourth in a week's interval while small cabbages and cauliflowers were being sold for Tk. 20 to 25 apiece, and radish for Tk. 50 a kg.
Traders said this week, the supplies of some winter vegetables are robust. Rahaman Moti, a vegetable vendor, told that vegetables are not likely to preserve as they are likely to decompose. Hence, it is not possible to hike vegetable price by forming syndicates (cartels). When there will be enough supplies against demand, the prices will come down.
Spikes were seen in the prices of most of the late summer vegetables, including snake gourds, bitter gourds, pointed gourds, ash gourds, bottle gourds, sponge gourds and teasel gourds. Traders attributed the rise in prices to the recent decline in supplies. Pointed gourds, snake gourds, and colocasia stems were selling for Tk. 50-70 per kg. A medium-sized bottle gourd went for Tk. 60-70 apiece last week.
Early harvested potatoes also hit a few markets at Tk. 120 to Tk. 130 a kg. However, the price of eggplants has slightly declined and the vegetable is being sold at Tk. 40 a kg against the price of Tk. 60 last week.All kinds of leafy vegetables also witnessed a price surge as these were selling at Tk. 20 to 25 per bunch, depending on the variety.
Meanwhile, the prices of different varieties of fish have declined. The national fish hilsa was mostly selling in the city at low prices on Friday. Most of the traders sold hilsa at much lower rates as the variety is available in the markets.
The fish, in a few markets, was found selling at Tk. 800 to 900 a kg. Cultured rui, katla, grass carp, koi, pangash and tilapia plunged by Tk. 20 to 40 per kg. The prices of broiler chicken witnessed a slight low in the capital's kitchen markets.
Broiler chicken was being sold at Tk. 115 to 120 a kg, while the price of red roosters stood at Tk. 220-230 per kg. According to the sources, meanwhile, the farmers could bring 5,507 hectors of land under the winter vegetable cultivation exceeding the district's winter vegetable cultivation target which was fixed at 5,125 hectors of land.
Farmers could bring additional land under vegetable cultivation as the government, by this time, has taken many farmers-friendly programs including ensuring supplying of improved quality vegetable seeds, fertilizers and other agricultural equipments to the door-steps of the farmers to let them know modern methods of vegetables cultivation by reducing its production costs.
Many farmers in the district are passing busy time growing early winter vegetables. Early winter cabbage, bean, carrot, cauliflower, spinach, red spinach, water spinach, Malaber spinach and snake bean grow well in the district. The cultivators make extra profit from the produce every season. The vegetables will start appearing in the market by November, growers added.
According to the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), over 1,680 hectares of land have brought under early winter vegetable cultivation in the district with the production target of around 2,290 tonnes. Locally-produced vegetables are sent to Dhaka, Tangail, Narayanganj, Chattogram and some other districts.
DAE officials said more than 30,000 farmers in the area are engaged with the production of vegetable this season.Early winter vegetable production is profitable. The Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC) supplied quality seeds to the growers. local farmers said this year they cultivated vegetables comfortably due to sufficient rainfall.
They said they are expecting a record quantity of production if there is no major natural disaster in the country.Chandu Mia, a farmer in Chattogram , said he has cultivated cabbage on his two bighas of land but failed to harvest it as his produces were damaged by diamond back moth paste attack.
He also urged the local agriculture department for providing necessary assistance for dealing with the paste attack.According to the district Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), 60 percent of the country's total vegetable production comes from the distirct.
The vegetables produced here are supplied to the capital and other parts of the country.DAE additional deputy director, said Chattogram is famous as a vegetable zone of the country and the farmers here are cultivating various types of vegetables in their land round the year.
Concern authority source said, a large number of farmers of the area are producing huge amount of vegetables using eco-friendly pheromone trap instead of harmful pesticides. Different varieties of toxic-free vegetable including egg-plant, pointed-gourd, bitter-gourd, snake-gourd and jhinga are being grown in several villages of the district using the trap, source said.
Farmers said, the vegetable growers have to spend a large amount of money on insecticides on their vegetable fields but Pheromone trap is a chemical capsule. It is kept in a plastic bottle half-filled with water. The female sex hormone insects that attract the male who get drowned into the water kept in the bottle of the pheromone trap.
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