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22 September, 2019 00:00 00 AM

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Betel leaf growers worried over falling prices

Want govt support to overcome crisis
OUR CORRESPONDENT, Noakhali
Betel leaf growers worried over falling prices
A farmer collects betel leaf from his garden at Gosh Bagh under Kabirhat upazila of Noakhali.The photo was taken recently. INDEPENDENT PHOTO

Betel leaf growers in Noakhali district are unhappy because of a sudden fall in the price of the commodity in local markets and lack of loans at easy terms.

They said two weeks ago a ‘bira’ of local Bangla betel leaf sold for Tk 90 to 100, but now the price had fallen to Tk 50 to 55. The price of Indian LC betel leaf, too, had fallen.

During a recent visit, this correspondent found the local growers and small traders unhappy with the trend.

Abul Hossain, 34, a betel leaf grower of Ghosbag of Kabirhat upazila in Noakhali, said they would be able to tide over the crisis if the government made easy bank loans available.

Another farmer said they had not been properly advised by the upazila agricultural office about the market trends.

About 20 wholesalers supply betel leaves to three districts from the Maijdee hawkers’ markets. But they, too, were not properly briefed about the market condition.

Wholesaler Masum said that despite a bumper production of local betel leaf, the Indian LG leaf flooded the market. Other wholesalers, too, said they were caught unawares by the sudden fall in betel leaf prices over the past seven days.

Jakdis Pal, who hails from Char Ababil, said he had cultivated betel leaves on 11 ha of land this year.

He spent Tk 25,000 by taking a loan from an agricultural bank and NGOs. But now he was facing a huge loss because of the fall in prices. Jakdis said he had purchased a good number of betel plants and bamboo rafts with the loan money.

He also paid for the cost of labour, which had gone up considerably. But he feared he would not be able to recover the production cost. A source in the Kabirhat upazila agricultural department (AED) said, this year, betel leaf cultivation had been done on 6,000 ha of land.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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