Transport strike frustrates growers, traders

Vegetable, fish see low prices in Rajshahi, Joypurhat local markets

Our Correspondent | Published: August 06, 2018 21:03:27 | Updated: August 07, 2018 15:47:58

Thousands of tonnes of vegetable and fish which were supposed to transport to Dhaka, Chattogram and other places of the country from the district are lying to damage due to crisis in recent transport system.

Due to sudden transport strike on the backdrop of demands of students to ensure road safety, it is not being possible to send those fish and vegetables to anywhere outside Rajshahi resulting a rotting of those while a very low price of those in the local markets due to abundant of supply.

Fish and vegetable traders in Rajshahi have demanded to immediate withdrawal of the transport strike to ease their goods to send outside the district.

At the same time they have demanded to introduce a regular goods train from Rajshahi to carry the local farm products outside the district at a comparatively low cost.

It is learnt, vegetables in mostly cultivated in Paba and Mohanpur upazilas.

Every day, several hundred tonnes of vegetables and fruits including egg plant, banana, papaya, gourd, okra, snake gourd, betel leaf, green chilli, ginger, mango, guava and other vegetable are supplied to various places outside the district.

There having no goods train to carry those, those are mostly transported through trucks. But, due to suspension of movement of trucks due to students' programme throughout the country, it is not being possible to carry those outside.

Farmer Afzal Hossain of Bakshomul village under Mohanpur upazila said he cultivate brinjal on five bighas of land.

He plucked some 200 kg of brinjal on Friday last and sent those to nearby Mougacchi market to sell those but there was no wholesale vegetables traders to purchase any vegetables there.

Due to transport strike, none of wholesale vegetables traders from Dhaka, Chattogram or other places of the country reached there. As a result, those brinjal are being rotten.

Rafiqul Islam, a leasee of the market, said farmers used to carry their produce to the market and sold those to the wholesalers of various districts.

But, due to sudden transport strike, no traders could reach to Rajshahi to purchase those.

He said, the leasees used to get a per cent of commission from the farmers after selling their products but due to absence of selling and bargaining of any goods, they were also incurring a huge loss.

Meanwhile, due to abundant supply of vegetables, fish and fruits, prices of those products have fallen drastically.

Akter Ali, a fish trader at Mohanpur Bazar, said fish traders used to send more than 100 truck-load of live fish from Rajshahi to Dhaka and other places of the country. But, due to transport strike, sending of fish to outside Rajshahi remained suspended.

Altaf Hossain, a fish trader at Durgapur upazila informed, he had caught a truck load of fish on Friday but failed to send that to Dhaka. As a result, he had to sell the fish at a throwaway price in the local market.

Sadrul Islam, President of Truck Owners' Association in Rajshahi, said the movement of trucks from Rajshahi remained suspended due to country wide student agitation.

As a result, transport owners and labourers were spending their days in utter misery and vegetables, fruit and fish traders were also incurring a huge loss.

He demanded immediate step from the government and from conscious citizens of the country to solve the prevailing crisis in transport sector and to ensure security on roads to move their vehicles smoothly once again.   

Meanwhile, our Joypurhat correspondent adds: Vegetable prices are decreasing alarmingly in the district due to students called country wide strike in Northern four districts.

The grassroots growers of Joypurhat, Bogura, Pabna and Sirajganj districts are suffering much as they cannot sell their produce to the traders.

Traders do not purchase vegetable from the farmers due to transportation problem.

On an average some 100 to 150 loaded trucks from the region goes to Dhaka, Chattogram and Khulna daily, said traders' sources said.

He is also suspecting that the amount of losses may cross if the authority concerned fails to bring the situation under control within a short period of time.

Farmer Hamidul Islam of Panchbibi upazila of the district said he has cultivated bottle-gourd on some two bighas of land.

He said he has achieved a bumper production of the vegetable and afraid of incurring massive losses for the present situation.

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