Rise in demand skyrockets lemon prices in Moulvibazar

Published : 09 Apr 2022 09:57 PM

Most of the paper lemons and ginger lemons are grown in the hilly hills of Kulaura upazila, Sreemangal, Kamalganj and Juri of Moulvibazar. Most of them are planted in Sreemangal and Kamalganj upazilas. There is a huge gap between the wholesale market and the retail market.

Turning to the market, it can be seen that a small size of 5 Tk is sold in the retail market. Medium size is sold at Tk 8 per piece. Lemons priced at Tk 6 are sold at Tk 10-12 per piece and lemons priced at Tk 10 are sold at Tk 15 to 16.

Every morning, farmers from the remote hilly areas crowded the yard with paper lemons, pineapples and bananas in wheelbarrows and jeeps. Those lemon storekeepers sell it in bulk. After that it was packed in sacks and taken to different places of the country including Dhaka by truck.

Sreemangal lemon grower and pineapple owner Shahed Ahmed said that now the production of dry season lemons is less. Lemon production is mainly during the monsoon season. Due to low production in the orchards during the dry season, the market price of lemons is slightly higher at this time of the year. Because the lemon tree has to be watered with an irrigation pump. It also costs more. And due to the increasing demand during the holy month of Ramadan, the market price is further increasing. Before Ramadan, the maximum size of a piece of paper lemon has been sold at Tk 8. Basically, those of us who own lemons and cultivate lemons, we don't get that much price.

Nazmul Hasan Babul, owner of a lemon orchard in Satgaon area of Sreemangal upazila, said that the price of lemon was not so high. Every year during this season, the prices of lemons and pineapples are very good. However, a large part of the profit goes to the pockets of traders and peddlers.

Abdul Malek, the storekeeper of Srimangal Natunbazar, said, “Paper lemons from the lemon orchards of Bahubal upazila of Habiganj district come to our yard. Besides, paper lemons are sold in the hilly areas of Sreemangal and Kamalganj upazilas. Wholesalers from different parts of the country come to my yard.

Nirmal Das, manager of Abdul Malek's warehouse, said that paper lemons were sold at a small size of Tk 2, medium size at Tk 3 and large size at Tk 4 in the warehouse on Wednesday. He said the market is down a bit, the rate is low. Paper lemons were sold at higher prices 5/6 days ago. Retail prices are higher, medium size lemon in the quantity of four is being sold at Tk 40, large size lemon in the quantity of four is being sold at Tk 60.

Apart from lemons, hill tiller juicy pineapple is being sold at Tk 30-35 and large size at Tk 40-50. However, on the occasion of the month of Ramadan, the demand for lemons and pineapples is higher and the prices are also higher.

Lemon wholesaler Golap Mia, Sreemangal lemons are sold in Dhaka Kawran Bazar, Shanir Akhra and Demra areas at higher prices.

Haji Kamal Hossain, general secretary of Sreemangal business and Amjad Hossain Bachchu, a member, said that the price of lemon is a bit higher as there is no lemon season at present. Lemon trees have to be watered from a deep tube well through a motor pump. It costs more, production is less. 

Crops grown in hilly areas, including pineapples and bananas and paper lemons, are bought and sold in the Sreemangal new market every day for around Rs 1.5 crore.

Kazi Lutful Bari, Deputy Director, Department of Agricultural Extension, Moulvibazar, said that in Moulvibazar district, the yield of paper lemons is higher in the hills. The lemon season begins in May. Paper lemons are being cultivated in 1,602 hectares of land in Moulvibazar district. Last year the production was 26,232 metric tons. Among them, paper lemons are more produced in Sreemangal upazila.