Due to drought and intense heat this year, hundreds of lychee gardens have already been damaged
The lychee gardens of Bandarban are filled to the brim as a result of favourable soil and climate of the hilly regions, which are perfect for lychee production.
Although this year’s cultivation is far better than last year's, farmers are worried of the detrimental effects of the recent droughts in the area.
Due to drought and intense heat this year, hundreds of lychee gardens have already been damaged, resulting in frustration among the farmers and local traders.
A local from Rajbila of Bandarban, Upshoi Thui Marma, says last year lychees were sold at around Tk200 per 100 pieces. But this year the price dropped to Tk100-120. But the production cost was twice as much than before. As a result farmers are unable to make profit.
According to locals, a fair amount of lychees are being sold in local markets every day. To meet the demand, these lychees are being supplied to different areas across the country as well.
A hundred lychees are sold at Tk100-120 in the local market. However, one hundred China-3 breed lychees are being sold at Tk280-300.
According to local farmers, lychees of Bombay and Chinese-3 breeds have a sufficient supply in the market. But they are afraid whether they will be able to make any profits with local lychees.
A lychee farmer from the Ruma upazila of Bandarban, Chaiugyo Marma said: "Due to the drought, lychee production will be severely disrupted this season. We are worried about whether the capital invested could be recovered."
According to the District Agriculture Department, Bombay, Chinese-3 and local breeds of lychees have been cultivated in around 1,203 hectares of the hilly land in Bandarban. The production target is 5,228 metric tons, but as soil and environment are favourable, lychee cultivation has increased this year.
Agriculture Officer of Bandarban Sadar upazila, Khurshida Begum said: “Lychee cultivation is far better this year as necessary equipment for cultivation was provided by the Department of Agricultural Extension.”
On the other hand, Agriculture Officer of Bandarban Sadar upazila, Omar Faruq said: “Local farmers became enthusiastic in lychee cultivation for low production cost and more profit; but due to drought and excessive heat, the lychees of the gardens are being damaged.”