Lychee growers in Bangladesh’ Pabna district are quite content, as their fruit is fetching a good market price across the country after a troubled harvest.
After the government lifted the nationwide closure, lychee growers supplied the popular summer fruit across the country in last couple of weeks and have earned well despite the initial setbacks during harvest in May due to Cyclone Amphan and the shutdown to curb coronavirus outbreak.
"Lychee has a short shelf life. We started harvesting local variety lychees from the middle of May but could not recover the production cost. At the same time, Cyclone Amphan damaged 30 to 40 percent output from most of the trees in the region," said Kitab Ali Mondol, a key lychee producer from Pabna's Ishwardi county.
"Following the huge loss from Amphan, we started harvesting 'Bombay Lychee', 'China Lychee' and local variety from early June and began supplying the fruits across the country after the government restrictions were lifted, and received a good price in the market, which helped recover the initial loss," Kitab said.
About 5,000 hectares of land were brought under lychee cultivation this year in Pabna, including 3,100 hectares in Ishwardi county alone.
The harvesting of lychee officially ended on June 15, with some harvesting still going on in some areas. Around 40 to 50 trucks loaded with different varieties of lychee transported the fruit across the country from Pabna in the last couple of weeks during the peak of harvesting time after the curbs on movement were relaxed, according to the lychee growers.