Fruit farmers, traders suffer at Betagi for lack of cold storage
BETAGI, BARGUNA, June 18: Seasonal fruits are getting perished in Betagi Upazila of the district due to lack of cold storage.
All haats and bazaars in the upazila are now full of different seasonal fruits like mango, jackfruit, litchi, black berry, wax apple, papaya, and pine apple.
Usually these fruits are available during months of Baishakh, Jaisttha, and Ashar. But this season, the fruits are getting damaged due to lack of preservation.
According to marketing sources, various fruits worth of lakh Taka are getting perished in the coastal upazila.
After meeting the local demand, mangoes, black berries, litchis, and others are sent to other parts of the country. But this year it could not be possible due to lockdown .
Growers and traders could not make timely marketing. As a result, they are incurring losses. Growers are not getting fair prices.
It was learnt, there is no modern system for preserving fruits in the upazila.
According to the Upazila Agriculture Office sources, there are over 2,000 small and large gardens of mango, black berry, jackfruit, banana, and papaya in the upazila.
At present, these gardens are being expanded; replacing aged old trees, hybrid fruit species are being farmed; growers are being provided with necessary training on fertiliser application and rearing.
To check pest attack, growers are working round the clock.
Krishna Kanta Gharami, papaya and banana grower of Dhalikanda Village in Ward-3 of Betagi Pourasabha, said, despite good production of papaya and banana, growers are not getting good prices due to lack of necessary patronisation.
Being prey to different tricks, they are passing their fruits at cheaper prices, he added.
Echoing him, fruit trader Abdul Barek Musulli at the bus stand said, fruits are getting rotted within few days in the absence of cold storage.
Growers said, the government does not give any loan for raising new gardens. Gardeners will be benefitted if they are provided with interest-free loan.
Fruit trader Sayed Ali said, if fruits are purchased in huge volume from growers, these get rotted, if not sold timely.
Poura-Panel Mayor ABM Rahman Khan said, a plan is in the offing to turn the municipality bazaar into a modern one. There is also plan for cold storage for fruit preservation, he informed.