a year ago

Fortune smiles on Sylhet bean cultivators

The crop exported to 13 countries

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Farmers in Sylhet have seen a bumper yield of the local variety bean named 'Goalgadda' this season, much to their joy and enthusiasm.

Sources said the government facilitated cultivation of the winter vegetable by supplying seeds and fertilisers free of cost and monitoring the entire production process carefully, considering its high export value.

Officials at the Department of Agricul-tural Extension (DAE) said the yield of the crop will be over 300 tonnes in the district this season. However, a third of the production has come from only Golapganj upazila of the district.

Among the farmers, particularly over 450 families in the region are involved in the export process.

Although the bean is cultivated in all the upazilas, it grows aplenty in villages of three unions- namely Lakshanabond, Lakshmi Pasha and Fulbari- under Golapganj upazila as their soil is more fertile for high yield of the bean variety.

For a different taste, the bean has a good demand abroad.

The winter vegetable is exported to 13 countries, said DAE Deputy Director Md Khoyer Uddin Molla at its Sylhet divisional office.

It has a good demand, particularly in the UK, USA, Canada and Gulf states, he added.

There are at least two wholesale markets of the bean and other vegetables in the upazila-- Purkayostha-bazar and Chowdhurybazar.

Wholesalers often procure the product from fields directly twice or thrice a week.

On the other hand, most farmers send their produce to the wholesale markets directly, including the two, by pushcarts or pick-up vans. Then the wholesalers supply those to the capital, mainly for exporting to different countries.

As the flat bean (Goalgadda) is larger in size than the normal varieties, its demand is also high in the local markets.

Consumers buy this variety of bean at high prices for its different taste, said Abdul Hasib of village Baushi in Golapganj upazila.

Jalalabad Vegetable and Frozen Fish Exporters Group's Mostafizur Rahman said about 250 tonnes of bean are exported every season from her.

But the export will be higher this year as the government has facilitated the production.

"We collect produce through some farmers, who have certificates from the DAE locally. Still, we have to export it with other vegetables from Dhaka due to lack of proper facilities at Osmani International Airport in Sylhet, from where several direct flights go to the UK and Gulf every week."

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