Mohammad Monir Hossain is a small farmer from Savar, located on the outskirts of Dhaka. Every Thursday evening, he loads his harvested vegetables onto a refrigerated van of the Department of Agricultural Marketing (DAM), as do some of his peers.
The van arrives at the Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC) in the Manik Mia Avenue of the capital before the dawn breaks. Hossain and his colleagues reach the same place later in the morning to unload and display their fresh produce to customers. It is the Farmers' Market where Hossain has been coming with his fresh vegetables since the agriculture ministry opened it in December 2019.
Managed by the DAM, farmers who produce vegetables by following IPM techniques, including bio-pesticides, bring their crops to the market. The field offices of the DAE certify the vegetables as safe for human consumption.
The initiative was taken at a time when concerns about the safety of farm produce are high owing to the use of chemical pesticides by farmers to protect crops from the losses resulting from pest attacks.
"We don't use pesticides harmful for human health, and the good thing is that many customers believe in us," said Hossain, adding that customer traffic was gradually increasing in the market, where they sit for two days – Fridays and Saturdays— every week.
In Dhaka, a permanent structure is being constructed at Manik Mia Avenue so that 20 to 25 farmers can display their produce all over the week.
Photo source: Dreamstime.com