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Dhaka Tribune

CHT fruit growers incur losses due to insufficient cold-storage

Update : 29 Jan 2016, 07:36 PM

Lack of storage, marketing and carrying facilities are the major obstacles to ensure fair prices of seasonal fruits for the growers in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHTs) region.

Sources said the fruits worth over Tk50 lakh perished in the region recent months due to lack of cold storage, marketing and transport facilities.

Although the farmers in the hill districts of Rangamati, Khagrachhari and Bandarban get a good harvest of fruits like pineapple, litchi, orange, banana, papaya, guava, they have to count losses due to lack of storage and transport facilities. The growers said they could not carry the fruits to other markets due to lack of adequate transport facilities.

Engine boat and launch are the only means of transport to other places, but they could not use the Kaptai Lake to carry the fruits due to a huge mass of water hyacinth that blocked navigation to a severe extent. Most of the fruits perished in the prevailing hot spell, said Monu Marma, a grower of remote Pharua under Belaichhari upazila in the district.

Langadu, Baghaichhari, Borkal, Kawkhali, Naniarchar, Zurachhari and Belaichhari under Rangamati district, Ramgarh, Dighinala, Panchhari, Matiranga, Manikchhari and Mohalchhari of Khagrachhari district and a large area in Bandarbun famous for fruit cultivation.

Romonikanti Chakma, deputy director of Rangamait Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), said “Farmers have counted heavy losses following absence of storage facilities, which made them sell their fruits at throwaway prices.”

Haroon-or-Rashid, additional DAE director of the CHTs, said: “In the absence of storage and transportation facilities, huge quantities of fruits perish every year.” 

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