"Flower broom tree" grows naturally on the side of the hill. Hills of Bandarban district can be described as a natural broom factory. The demand for brooms of Bandarban is increasing day by day in other districts of the country. As the quality of the raw material of this broom is better and more beautiful than other brooms, it lasts longer and the price is less, so the wholesalers of other districts of the country collect more brooms from Upazilas of Bandarban.
Thousands of families in the hills depend on the sale of this broom for their livelihood. in Bandarban municipal area is a huge open field named Hafezgona next to the new bus terminal. The process of drying the brooms collected from the local markets and different hill villages of different Upazilas of the district is being done there. After drying for 10-15 days, these brooms reach different parts of the country through wholesalers. Storekeeper Md Mahabub, a resident of Kalaiya village in Patuakhali district, has been involved in broom business in Bandarban for more than two decades. His broom shop is adjacent to the new bus terminal, which is one of the biggest broom shops of the district. Basically, he collects brooms from different upazilas of Bandarban at the field level and processes them.
Recently, people of Bengali community including tribal people have also become involved in this profession. Over time, the mountain economy has been enriched by mountain brooms.
According to the wholesale traders who came to Bandarban, the value of mountain brooms is much higher in the plain districts. Bandarban's broom is exported to big districts and upazila towns like Noakhali, Comilla, Chittagong, Tangail including the capital Dhaka.
Although most of the people in Bandarban depend on jum cultivation, they have been able to earn extra income by selling brooms from the beginning of Winter till the end of spring after harvesting jum cultivation at home.
Usually a bundle is sold in the wholesale market for 10-12 Tk. In this way, 100 brooms are being sold for Tk 1000 to Tk 1200.
A field collector earns 30 to 50 thousand Tks by selling brooms collected from the hills in one season. According to him, it is more profitable to collect brooms for three months in a year without capital than for agricultural work with capital.
The small traders of the district who are involved in this business said that if the government provides them with loans, the expansion of this business will increase in future.
This broom is also contributing to the economy of the district. In order to send this broom from district to different districts of the country, one has to deposit 35 cent officially for each broom.
In this regard, District Divisional Forest Officer Mahmudul Hasan said that the broom is being transported from Bandarban to different parts of the country including Dhaka. And we officially collect revenue for the permission of this transport.
He added that the revenue is deposited in the government fund at the rate of 35 cent per broom. As such, we are depositing 10 to 12 thousand Tk in each truck in the revenue government fund. The mountain broom is also contributing to the economic development of the district. With proper patronage, this industry will be more prosperous.