Trading and marketing of litchi has reached peak everywhere in the region involving hundreds of labourers both males and females in harvesting, segregating and transportation of the delicious seasonal fruit.
Market sources said harvest has been continuing in full swing with plenty of supply, huge demand and better prices in the local markets making both the litchi growers and traders happier this season.
Dr Alim Uddin, principal scientific officer of Fruit Research Station, told BSS that litchi is grown well in Rajshahi and Dinajpur districts in the country’s northwest region but the fruit of Ishwardi is very delicious and famous across the country.
In Rajshahi, there are around 372.5 hectares of litchi orchards with creation of new ones. He said commercial farming of some of the fruits especially mango and litchi is gradually being enhanced in the region.
Ishwardi is now being adjudged as capital of litchi as it possesses commercial litchi orchards on more than 3,000 hectares with around three lakh trees. Age of two lakh trees is above 15 years. Apart from this, there are scores of litchi trees on homesteads and adjacent areas throughout the upazila.
Number of trees is gradually increasing here as the farming is being adjudged as profitable, said Upazila Agriculture Officer Rawshan Jamil.
He said around 230 crore litchis were produced here this season valued at around Taka 400 crore. He said yield of litchi has been affected to some extent due to the scorching heat and rainless condition of the season. But in all aspects, there will be an expected yield, he hoped.
Meanwhile, huge quantities of litchi including the aristocrat varieties are being sold daily from the region to the country’s other parts including capital Dhaka and its supply still remains plenty in the local markets following bumper production.
Presently, every 100 pieces of local variety litchi are selling at rates between Taka 200 and 230, Madrazi, Bombay and China-3 varieties at rates between Taka 250 and 260 and aristocrat Bedana variety in between Taka 270 and 350 in the local markets. Like in the previous years, the bigger litchi traders from Munshiganj, Dhaka and other places have already purchased the orchards with China-3, China-4 and Bedana variety litchi and started marketing those to the capital and other areas.