Guava farmers at the floating market of Vimruli in Jhalakathi Sadar are worried about getting fair price for their producethis season, fearing thatonly afew wholesalers and tourists will showup amid the pandemic.
Thousands of tourists from across the country and abroad visit the floating market during monsoon every year. They come here from July to October every year to enjoy the floating market, filled with small and large boats.
The surrounding natural landscape is very soothing to the eyeand enjoyable too, said visitors.
"Ripe guava has been available here since the first week of July. Famers are getting good price now, but when the supply peaksin two weeks, the price could fall if there are only a handful of buyers," said Satish Halder, a guava farmer of Satodashkathi village.
At present, a kilogram of guavasells for Tk15-Tk20, which might drop to Tk1-Tk2, he added.
"If more tourists and wholesalers don't come to the market, we have to count losses," said Bhuben, another farmer of the village. Guava farming is his prime source of income.
According to the Jhalakathi agriculturalextension office, the fruits are produced in 15 villages of three districts. Many snake-like canals are flowing through hundreds of guava orchards in the villages where small boats are the main means of transport. There are around 20 guava orchards that allow tourists to visit.
"Every year, we get advanced booking from different groups and institutions for our gardens and we earn a handsome amount.But this year, none of them have communicated with us," said Anup, the owner of the Lake View Garden.
"I used to receive five to 10 lunch orders per day from tourist groups, but this year nobody has called so far," said Shuvrojeet, owner of another restaurant nearthe market.
"This year, guava has been produced on around 900 hectares of land. The farmers will get good price if a significant number of buyers and tourists come here," said Fajlul Haque, the deputy director of the Department of Agricultural Extension office in Jhalakathi.
Fruit farmers do not have to suffer if a fruit processing factory is established here, he added.