Litchi trading worth around Tk 525 crore is expected in Ishwardi upazila of Pabna district, famous for litchi production, during the current harvesting and marketing season.
Litchi farmers in Ishwardi are now selling delicious Bombay litchi.
Litchi farmers and traders are happy to get good prices. The local market is bustling with Bombay litchi.
Wholesale traders from different districts of the country including the capital Dhaka, Narayanganj, Khulna, Sylhet, Barisal, Chittagong have started buying and transporting litchi trucks.
However, this year in Ishwardi, the litchi buds are less and the litchi pods are falling due to intense heat.
Many litchi plants burst and dry up before and after ripening during intense heat. Litchi farmers and traders are worried about the condition of litchi in adverse weather conditions. With the advice of the local agriculture department and the farmers on their own initiative, try to protect litchi in various ways.
Bombay Litchi has started hitting the market at the last moment after the indigenous variety. After three-four days, the market will become more active for Bombay and China-type litchi, traders said.
Ishwardi Upazila Agricultural Extension Officer said that there are 3,100 hectares of litchi plantations in Ishwardi.
There are hundreds of litchi gardens in remote areas of Salimpur, Sahapur, Pakshi, Dashuria, Muladuli and Lakshikunda Unions of the upazila.
The number of gardens is 12,360. There are 2.80 lakh trees. Each tree holds 4,000 to 4,500 litchis. As the soil here is suitable for litchi cultivation, litchi has been cultivated commercially for the past 30 years.
Various markets of litchi including Jaynagar Shimultala, Jaynagar Bishwarodmor, Mirkamari Munnarmor, Silimpur of Sahapur Union and so on have become full of litchi.
Many buyers and sellers are gathering to buy lichi. Litchi farmers said that wholesale buyers from different districts of the country including Dhaka, Chittagong, Tangail, Khulna, Jessohar, Kushtia, Faridpur, Magura, Rajbari, Madaripur, Barisal have come to Ishwardi to buy litchi.
Lichi traders from different parts of the country have already bought litchi gardens and taken care of them themselves.
They are now busy getting litchi from trees and supplying it to different parts of the country.
After visiting to Lichi market in Jayanagar Shimultala of Salimpur Union, farmers are seen busy selling litchis.
Tk 2500 to Tk 3000 per thousand in Bombay wholesale litchi. For retail sales, 100 Litchi is asking Tk 250 to Tk 300.
For China-3 Lichi, seller wants Tk 2500 per thousand.
Farmer Zahidul Islam said that this litchi will be sold for more than Tk 4,000 after three-four days.
Desi litchi is being sold at Tk 1,500 to Tk 1,600 per thousand.
Liton Pramanik, President of Shimultala Lichi Hat Traders Association and owner of Adarsha Fruit Bhandar, said that since the last two days, the country's famous and delicious Bombay litchi has started appearing in the market.
“China litchi is also coming. Bombay and China litchis are more expensive than native litchis. It is also delicious to eat. Every day 70 lakh to 80 lakh worth of litchi is being sold only from Shimultala Hut. Apart from this, litchi garden, Sahapur, Aotapara, Dashuria, Muladulir haat and different places of the upazila are selling more than one crore taka of litchi every day,” he mentioned.
He said that the activities of the market started from 4 am till 10 am in everyday and in a few days the purchase of litchi will be over.
Upazila Agriculture Officer Agriculturist Mita Sarkar said that litchi is one of the main income producing fruits of the area.
People here are becoming self-reliant by cultivating litchi commercially, she said, adding that Ishwardi litchi has a distinct value across the country.
“The overall market value of litchi sales will be Tk 500 to 525 crore.