Guava lovers in Barishal city are getting fruit from gardens to their houses with the effort of a group of young entrepreneurs who are students of different universities.
They sell guavas online in an attempt to reduce the loss of guava farmers amid the Covid-19 pandemic and to make a profit as well, the youths said.
"We thought that this season the guava farmers would face a very tough time for low turnout of buyers due to Covid-19. People might not come to the floating market here. After discussion with some of my friends, we decided to sell the guavas online in Barishal city to reduce the losses of farmers," said Shuvashish Das, the leader of the group.
According to the decision, the group members visited the guava gardens in Jhalakathi sadar and talked to the farmers about buying their guavas. The farmers here appreciated their ideas, he added.
"Then we invited city dwellers through a facebook page to buy the guavas. A good number of consumers contacted us to get the fruit. At first, we sold 50 kilogrammes of guava through home delivery, said Rayhan Chawdhury, one of the group members.
The home delivery service is free, he added.
Shatis Halder, a guava farmer at Shatodaskathi in Jhalakathi sadar said, "We are getting good prices from these youths. If more such youths come forward to help us, we could sell more fruits at fair prices."
This initiative makes a bridge between us and the consumers. Hence both the youths and farmers benefit, he added.
Shuvashish Das said, "Fresh guavas are supplied to customers without any preservative. They have a good demand because of the taste."
"A consumer has to buy a minimum of five kg guavas to get the free home delivery service. Each kg is sold at Tk30 while the farmers have to be paid Tk10 per kg," he said.
Earlier, guavas were not available in Barishal and its neighbouring districts as the juicy fruits were sent to Dhaka, Chattogram, Khulna and Cumilla.
"We sell around 200 kilogrammes per day. The demand is increasing rapidly because of the good quality and we are getting more home delivery orders," he said.
Shuvashish said they have to spend money mostly for transportation (collection of guavas from the gardens directly and delivery to customers).
Anika Tahsin, a customer from Rupatoli in Barishal, said "We get the fresh fruits from this online service. The service is providing us a way to get fresh guavas directly from gardens."
"We are thinking of expanding our business to neighbouring district towns," Shuvashish said.