Traders from different districts buy vegetables in wholesale and retail from this market
Nimsar at Burichong of Cumilla, the largest vegetable market in Chattogram division, sells on average Tk15 crore in vegetables every day, with a monthly turnover of Tk 450 crore.
According to traders, retailers and wholesalers from eight other districts purchase vegetables from this market.
The warehouse owners said that each warehouse sells vegetables worth Tk6 lakh daily. Vegetables worth Tk9 crore are sold daily in the wholesale warehouses, they said.
The remaining Tk6 crore in daily sales comes from other retail products and fish markets.
Some traders sell vegetables worth Tk10 lakh, while others make Tk1 lakh in sales, and the difference in sales volume depends on the invested capital and popularity of the seller.
Visiting the market on Monday morning, rows of trucks were seen on over a kilometre of the Dhaka-Chattogram Highway, vegetables being loaded and unloaded.
Some sellers were seen selling vegetables on the highway as they were unable to secure a spot within the market. Many were selling directly from the trucks, without even unloading their vegetables.
Many wholesalers were selling vegetables from the trucks to avoid the muddy warehouse after the rains.
The market has three sections. Warehouses are located in one section, while vegetables and fruits are retailed in another, and the third one sells poultry, fish, potatoes and other kitchen items.
The wholesale market is open every day from 6pm to 10am the next day.
The wholesale market gains momentum after 10pm. The warehouses start emptying out at around 7am, when sales kick off in the retail market, which remains open till 11am.
The market comprises more than 150 wholesale warehouses and over 400 retail stalls.
According to traders, most of the vegetables sold here arrive from Rajshahi, Bogura, Magura, Thakurgaon, Sherpur, Sirajganj, Jashore, Jamalpur and Chittagong Hill Tracts. Some produces also come from Cumilla and Narayanganj.
Retailers from Cumilla, Chattogram, Noakhali, Lakshmipur, Chandpur, Brahmanbaria, Feni, Munshiganj and Narayanganj purchase goods from Nimsar Bazar.
Some Dhaka-based retailers also buy products in wholesale from the market, and most sellers are from Cumilla.
The traders also said that vegetable supply witnessed a downtrend due to the rains. Although reduced demand means reduced supply, the daily average sales has not been impacted.
The most popular wholesale products include arum roots, potatoes, cucumbers, and bitter gourds.
On average, 1,000 tonnes of arum roots, 800 tonnes of cucumbers, 2,500 tonnes of potatoes and 600 tonnes of bitter gourds are sold in this market every day. Up to 200 tonnes of chillies are also sold here.
The warehouse owners said that with the onset of winter, vegetable supply in the market will increase. The quantity of vegetables could triple, they said.
Radishes, cauliflowers and cabbages grown on the banks of the River Gumti in Cumilla have started arriving.
Abdul Malek, a warehouse owner in Cumilla, sells a variety of vegetables, including arum roots. He said he sells about 150 tonnes of arum roots every day, and about 20 tonnes of other vegetables.
He was happy with his profits.
Sohail Mia, another warehouse owner in Cumilla, said he sells 70-80 tonnes of cucumbers daily. Cucumbers are now being sold at Tk25-30 in wholesale per kilogram.
He said, "The demand of cucumbers exceeds supply. I am optimistic of being able to sell around 120 tonnes of cucumbers every day this winter," he said.
Abdur Rahim, a warehouse owner of Bogura, sells chillies and carrots. He said that he sells around 5,600 kilograms of chillies and 2,000 kilograms of carrots every day.
Shahabuddin, owner of Raju Enterprise, said, "I have been selling tomatoes and other raw vegetables in the Nimsar market for the past 15 years. I sell around 18,000 kilograms of tomatoes every day."
Arif Hossain, a local potato stockist at Nimsar, said, "I sell an average of 3,000 potato sacks every day. Each bag contains 60 kilograms of potatoes."
Retailer Bachchu Mia has been selling red amaranth and other vegetables in Nimsar market for a while. Though the produce was not up to the mark, he was satisfied with the price.
Abdullah Al Mamun, president of a unit at the Nimsar market, said, "The market has a daily turnover of Tk15 crore. The rain has created some problems in accessing the market, but I will take steps to solve it."
Burichang Upazila, Executive Officer Moshammat Sabina Yasmin said, "Nimsar Bazar is the largest market in this region. There is a waterlogging issue in the market, which we will work to address."