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Dhaka Tribune

Amphan, Covid-19 add to lychee farmers' woes in Magura

Growers and traders say this year lychee orchards sustained a great deal of damage during the passage of cyclone Amphan

Update : 16 Jun 2020, 08:27 PM

Lychee traders in Magura say they have had to go through a fall in sales of at least Tk10 crore this season compared to previous seasons due to the impact of coronavirus shutdown and cyclone Amphan.

Growers and traders say this year lychee orchards sustained a great deal of damage during the passage of cyclone Amphan. Moreover, the countrywide shutdown has caused a decrease in demand all across the country, leading to a fall in price.

Alamgir Hossain, a lychee farmer in Hajrapur village in Sadar upazila, said: "Lychee sales this year have not been good. We have had a bumper yield but had to suffer losses due to a lack of demand from outside the district. In the past few years we loaded 50 pick up vans daily, but this year it's not even five vans on some days. Our lychees generally have a very high demand in Shariatpur, Gazipur, Narayanganj and Dhaka."

Naren Ghosh, another farmer in the village, said: "Demand for Hajrapur lychees is quite high as it could be supplied in the market before lychees from other areas in the district. Last year we were able to sell a thousand lychees at Tk2,000-2,500. This year the price is just Tk 1,200 to Tk1,500 at most.

Shahidul Islam, a lychee trader in Ichhakhada village of the upazila, said: "A lot of lychee orchards sustained damage due to cyclone Amphan. Traders and farmers suffered losses due to a lack of demand from wholesalers outside the district.This year the district would have made a sale of Tk30 crore, but now it seems it will be hard to reach even Tk20 crore."

Zahidul Amin, deputy director of the district Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), said: "Lychees have been cultivated on 580 hectares of land this year and farmers have got a bumper yield. But they had to suffer losses as they were not able to sell lychees due to the countrywide shutdown and the damage caused to lychee orchards." He added that the DAE and district police would help the farmers so that the fruit could be transported to other districts without any difficulties.

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