Cucumber farmers and retail traders have expressed their delight at receiving a fair price for their produce this year
Thanks to its irreplaceable demand as a salad item, cucumbers cultivated from Narail are distributed in maunds across the country's kitchen markets.
Before every Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha, haats are established across Narail, where wholesalers from various districts such as Dhaka, Mymensingh, Khulna, Chittagong, etcgather to purchase the watery vegetable in maunds.
Cucumber farmers and retail traders have expressed their delight at receiving a fair price for their produce this year.
Department of Agriculture Extention (DAE) sources said cultivation of the produce has increased quickly and within 2-3 years, it has spread in the areas due to bumper production and high margin of profit against low production cost.
The local agriculture office at Sadar upazila said that cucumbers are currently being cultivated in at least 130 hectares of land in the district this year, from which they expect 23-24 maunds per hectare by the end of September.
The cultivation per hectare of cucumbers cost farmers Tk2.7 lakh, but the return is very appealing at almost Tk9 lakh.
Investigating a makeshift cucumber haat adjacent to Baraigati Primary School in Narail's Sadar upazila, this correspondent found a huge gathering of farmers, traders and wholesalers busy buying and selling their cucumbers.
Traders said at least 400-500 maunds of cucumbers are sold from such haats every day. Traders have taken keen interest in this vegetable as it has consistently been fetching them good prices for the past few years.
Noor Islam, a farmer from Baraigati, cultivates cucumbers of 25 katha of his own land, which costs him Tk20,000. He is eyeing a profit of at least Tk50,000, he tells Dhaka Tribune.
Other farmers said a maund of quality cucumbers can be sold anywhere between Tk1,500-2,200. Just before Eid-ul-Azha, they were able to sell it for as much as Tk2,600-2,700.
But they have also expressed concern over the toll charges taken per truck by local hoodlums, which is narrowing their profits. A written complaint has already been filed with Narail's deputy commissioner, they said.
Md Hasanuzzaman, president of Narail Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said steps are being taken to ensure safety of distribution of cucumbers from the haats to beyond the district.