Production has also been remarkably high
Despite a bumper yield of sweet pumpkins, farmers in Thakurgaon are counting losses as high transport costs are preventing them from sending their produce throughout the country. The situation has forced some of them to sell the pumpkins at low prices in the local market.
According to the farmers of the district, sweet pumpkin cultivation has been extensive in Thakurgaon district in the current season. Production has also been remarkably high, reports UNB.
But due to rising transport costs, thousands of sweet pumpkins are piled up on the perimeters of the fields and even on roadsides, with farmers and traders waiting in expectation of affordable trucks being available to transport the pumpkins to regions beyond Thakurgaon. The frustrations of the farmers are palpable.
Aftab Hossain, Deputy Director of Thakurgaon District Agriculture Extension Department (DAE), said sweet pumpkins had been cultivated on 1,200 hectares in the district this year.
Besides, production had been recorded at 24,000 tons, which was the highest in the country, said the official.
He noted that with transportation costs being doubled, the pumpkins were now being sold at Tk 3/4 per kg in the district itself. Selling at this price would not benefit the farmers.
However, he said that sweet pumpkins did not rot easily and could be stored. So if special trains could be arranged for transporting the pumpkins, the transportation problem would be solved and they could be sold in the more lucrative markets of the capital and elsewhere in the country.
With a view to aiding the farmers, the district administration has added one sweet pumpkin to each relief package during the corona situation.