Hundreds of guava growers in Patuakhali, Jhalakathi, Pirojpur and Barisal are worried due to drastic fall in production and fungus attack
Less than usual rainfall hampered flowering during sprouting of the delicious fruit in April and May and most of the guava orchards are 20 to 25 years old, which are the reason for low production, said growers in Pirojpur’s Swarupkathi, Jhalakathi Sadar and Barisal’s Banairpara upazilas.
Barisal region, producer of about 70 percent guava in the country, now sees decline in the production as the fruit’s cultivation has become less profitable.
The southern part of Bangladesh is known for its guavas, often known as ‘Bengal’s Apple.’ Farmers in Pirozpur rely largely on guava growing, particularly in Jhalakathi Sadar Upazila, Swarupkathi, and Banaripara Upazila.
The floating guava market is found mostly at Bhimruli, Atghar, and Kuriana in Pirojpur’s Swarupkathi Upazila. On 31,000 acres of land, 20,000 households from 26 communities cultivate guava. About 60 per cent of the local guava market need is supplied from here.
But low production and less sales turnout this year worried trader this year. Talking to Bangladesh Post, growers and guava traders said they fear around Tk 3 crore this year.
The growers are deprived of fair prices of the delicious rainy season fruit, locally known as ‘peyara’ or ‘goya’, due to lack of adequate transport, marketing and preservation facilities, and consequently, a good number of guava farmers are opting for other agriculture items, locals said.
Pankaj Baral of Jhalakathi’s Kirtipasha union said the price of one kg of guava is around Tk 25 to Tk 30 at the wholesale market, but it may fall to Tk 5 to Tk 6 per kg within a month.
From one acre of orchard, a farmer can earn about Tk 30,000 to Tk 35,000 by spending Tk 25,000 to Tk 30,000, he added.Farmer Niranjan Shikdar of the area said many growers are cultivating other crops abandoning guava as they are not getting fair price.
“We thought the guavas will ripen in time like the previous years, but that did not happen, rather most of the fruit are drying up and falling from the trees,” said Prodip Kumar Halder of Adamkathi village in Swarupkathi of Pirojpur.
“Whenever I see my guava orchards it hurts me as it my main source of income,” he said.“I bought two guava orchards for Tk 1 lakh about two months ago when the trees just started flowering,” trader Raton Mistry said, adding that he fears a huge loss as the immature fruits are falling from the trees.Jhalakathi Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) Deputy Director Monirul Islam said that guava growers fearing losses due to the lack of rain in this early season.