With the inauguration of the Padma Bridge, there is a flood of joy in the entire southern region of the country. Businessmen and entrepreneurs of Jhalkathi, Banaripara and Swarupkathi are weaving a web of new dreams. Due to the Padma Bridge, the region is currently benefiting from the Padma Bridge in all areas including business. There has been a radical change in the road communication system of the people of southern region. The pattern of life is changing. Opportunities have been created for the growth of industries. All classes of people will benefit. Land prices are increasing in the district. Especially Jhalkathi and Swarupkathi guavas, betel nuts, coconuts, wood, various types of nursery fruits, forest, medicinal plant seedlings and flowers and Banaripara's famous balam rice and various agricultural products including guavas, coconuts can be easily reached over the Padma Bridge in different districts of the country including Dhaka. Transporting is in short time. Farmers and traders are very happy with this. East Jhalakathi, It used to take 10 to 12 hours to go from Swarupkathi and Banaripara to the capital Dhaka, but it would take two days for a truck loaded with goods. Now reaching there in 3-4 hours. The road distance is reduced to about one hundred kilometers.
Local businessmen said that all these products were being supplied to different parts of the country by river and road. It's a waste of time, there were many obstacles including the ferry getting stuck and the goods rotting. But with the inauguration of the Padma Bridge, all obstacles ended. About 500 hectares of 20 villages in Sadar Upazila of Jhalkathi and 657 hectares of land in 22 villages of Swarupkathi Upazila of Pirojpur have guava gardens. About 10 tons of guavas are produced per hectare of land. A yield target of around 10,000 to 12,000 tonnes per year is set. Guavas worth about 10/12 crore rupees are produced in these gardens every year. Farmers used to send guavas to Dhaka in passenger launches through middlemen. Fresh fruit often rots. Due to the Padma Bridge, this perishable product is able to reach Dhaka. Their cost is also less on the road. Hog plum of Swarupkathi is known as hog plum of Barishal throughout the country. Amaranth cultivation is a very old profession of the people of this region. Almost every village in the upazila there is at least one or two hog plum trees in front of the house. Hog plum cultivation started commercially in Atghar-Kuriana in the mid-eighties. Later, hog plum cultivation started in several villages of Jalabari, Baldia, Daihari and Samudayakathi Union of the upazila. Bangla Bhadra Ashwin and Karthik These three months are full of hog plum season. Every day, from different parts of the upazila, the hog plum of Barishal is sent to Dhaka-bound launches and trucks to different parts of the country, including the capital, for the purpose of sale. Cultivators take hog plum to traders by boat. Another farmer sold the hog plum field in advance to the traders. Traders buy hog plum and send it in carats (plastic boxes) and sacks by sea and land to distant places. Wholesalers and retailers buy hog plum from there and distribute it all over the country. During the season, 45-50 tons of hog plum is sold in different parts of the country every day.
Businessman Sudhir Ranjan said, Due to underdeveloped communication system and lack of preservation of hog plum, many of their hog plum were lost. As Swarupakathi hog plum is profitable, farmers are also inclined to cultivate this fruit. At the farmer level, Pratiman hog plum is sold at Tk 700 to 800.
Sameer, a guava grower of Kurdiana in Swarupkathi, said that as we do not have guava preservation system here, guavas rot. As the Padma Bridge is launched, this damage will not occur and is being marketed quickly. He also said that several unions of Sadar Upazila of Jhalkathi produce a lot of amra along with guava. Meanwhile, Balam Rice is well-known as one of the business centers of southern region along with Banaripara, which has a tradition of 20 years for the sale and processing of paddy and rice. Balam rice of Barishal is famous all over the country and even in neighboring countries. For the demand and reputation of other rice besides Malangar Balam rice of Banaripara, Dhaka, Rangpur, Dinajpur, Khulna, Faridpur, Patuakhali, Hundreds of Farinas from different areas including Sandwip come here to buy rice. In this upazila, 70 percent of the people were involved in one way or the other in the paddy-rice (kutial) business. Md. Shajahan Sardar, a kutial trader of Didihar village in Banaripara, said that the kutial business is araichele (lost) due to communication system. This business will increase again with the opening of Padma Bridge.