The Satmail-Barinagar market in Jashore is one of the largest vegetable markets in the country, with an annual sale of around Tk5 crore.
Farmers in the region supply their produce to this market, and prefer growing vegetables to paddy and jute. They are happy with the prices they are getting this season. However, customers are not happy with the price of vegetables this season, and say that they have not seen such high prices in the last 10 years.
The Satmail-Barinagar vegetable market is just 10 kilometers from Jashore district town.
At present the market forms daily. Farmers in nearby areas including Barinagar, Churamankati, Hoibatpur and Abdulpur are busy harvesting their produce to supply to the market.
On a visit to the market, our correspondent came across a farmer who had brought seven maunds of cauliflowers and sold them for Tk60 per kg.
Another farmer named Jahangir Alam brought five maunds of beans, which he sold for Tk35 per kg.
Alauddin Mandal of Barahaibatpur village has cultivated beans on 1.5 bighas of land, bringel on a 1 bigha plot and pointed gourd on 15 kathas of land. He brought 90kg of beans to the market and sold them for Tk34 per kg.
Nur-e-Alam, a wholesaler from Chattogram, said vegetable prices are high this year. He has been buying vegetables from Satmail market for a long time, and supplies them to retail markets in Feni and Chattogram.
Vegetable production has declined because of the recent rains, pushing up the prices. One kilogram of cauliflower normally costs Tk10-Tk12, but the price has shot up to Tk55 per kg this season. One kg of green chillis is now selling for Tk28-30 per kg, up from the usual price of Tk18-20.
Trader Khairul Islam said that at the Satmail market, white radish is selling for Tk30 per kg, bringal for Tk32, pointed gourd for Tk32, beans for Tk35, bitter gourd for Tk50, cauliflower for Tk55-60, taro root for Tk20-30, purple yam for Tk60 per kg, and a single head of cabbage for Tk20 and bottle gourd for Tk30.
Nazrul Islam of Abdulpur village under Churamankati union cultivated cabbages on five bighas of land, and sold them for Tk22 per piece.
He said a cold storage facility would benefit farmers in the Haibatpur and Churamankati areas which are famous for their vegetables.
The Jashore regional agricultural office said that vegetables were cultivated on 20,000 hectres of land this season. This year too the highest quantity of vegetables was grown in three unions under the district's Sadar upazila.
Cultivation was on 1,630 hectres of land in Haitabpur union, 828 hectres in Churamankati union and 553 hectres in Kashimpur union.
Shahjahan, who holds the lease for Satmail market, said that wholesalers buy vegetables worth Tk1-1.5 crore from this market every day, and supply them to retail markets in Dhaka, Khulna, Chattogram, Faridpur, Barishal, Rajshahi and Sylhet.
Emdad Hossain, deputy director at Jashore's Agricultural Extention Department, said that farmers have to consider the possibility of inclement weather when cultivating vegetables. In return, they get higher prices of their produce. Vegetables are cultivated in Jashore around the year.
Meanwhile, vegetables prices are very high at Boro Bazar in Jashore town at present. Wholesaler Shankar Kumar said cauliflower is selling for Tk70 per kg, green chillis for Tk30, white carrots for Tk50, bringal for Tk60, pointed gourd for Tk55, beans for Tk60, bitter gourd for Tk80, taro root for Tk45, purple yams for Tk100 per kg, a single bottle gourd for Tk50 and head of cabbage for Tk35.
Munir Ahmed, who is from the Bejpara area of the town, went to Boro Bazar to buy vegetables. He said the prices there are very high this year.
"I have not seen such high prices in the last 10 years. This is peak season for vegetbles, but the prices are too high. Previously, we used to eat Tk200 worth of vegetables in a week, but the same amount of vegetables now cost Tk500," he said.