Karwan Bazar teeming with seasonal fruits, traders more careful

Karwan Bazar teeming with seasonal fruits, traders more careful

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Karwan Bazar fruit traders, with the bitter experience of the anti-formalin drives last year still fresh in their minds, are treading cautiously this time while trying to cover previous losses.Although last year the market was flooded with fruits by this time, allegations of rampant use of formalin, an embalmment preservative, had led to a massive crack down, resulting large amounts of the produce being destroyed for health reasons.
The tussle between the traders and the administration on the issue had reached the courts. The High Court had ordered the testing of the detection instruments and procurement of proper gadgets.The preventive measure now seems to have lost its sting with little action being seen this year.Mossaddek Bepari, a fruit supplier from Rangpur, told bdnews24.com: “There was no business last year; police destroyed all the mangoes, citing the use of formalin. So, mango-growers are a bit scared this year. They are reluctant to harvest the fruits before they are fully ripe.”
A trader of Karwan Bazar, Md Shanto, said, “Mangoes generally start arriving in the market from the beginning of Baishakh. This year, they are coming in late. The traders are afraid that things might go the last year’s way.”
Although mangoes from Rajshahi, a popular variety, are yet to hit the market, variants like Mohanbhog and Guti from Shatkhira are already there.Shanto is selling Himsagar, known for its sweetness, at the rate of Tk 60 per kg, Gopalbhog at Tk 50 a kg, and Langra at Tk 60.Trader Shahjahan Khan expects prices to remain low this year. “A lot of mangoes were wasted last year, many people lost everything. So, this year, traders are not taking risks. They are releasing the produce for marginal profits.”Summer fruits have been coming in from all corners of the country at depots around the capital over the past one month.Mangoes, lychees, pineapples, melons, berries and jackfruits are being sold at street corners.However, lychees from Dinajpur, a popular source, are yet to come in and variants from Rangpur and other northern districts are being sold in the capital, says wholesaler Alamgir Khan. “It would take some more days for the Dinajpur lychees to arrive.Mossaddek Bepari, who was auctioning his lychee produce in Karwan Bazar said, “Based on quality, they are going at Tk 1,400-1,800 per 1000 pieces.”Alongside ripe mangoes and lychees, a lot of green mangoes were seen in the market, a sign that many suppliers were plucking their produce before they ripened.Traders say the green mangoes, a popular ingredient for pickles, are coming from Shatkhira also.Imam Hasan Sharif, another wholesaler, said that green Mohanbhog was going at Tk 25-30 per kilogramme, and Guti at Tk 20-25. Other than mangoes and lychees, berries from Barisal were also sold at the wholesale price of Tk 500 per 5 kilogrammes, while jackfruit from Khagrachharhi was being sold at Tk 80-100 per piece.

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