Trading and marketing of litchi has reached peak everywhere in the region engaging hundreds of labourers both male and female in harvesting, processing and transportation of the delicious seasonal fruit.
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.
Seasonal traders set up makeshift shops at different points in the city especially Shaheb Bazar, Bindurmore, Laxmipur Bazar, Sheroil Bus Terminal, Railway station and Court bazaar with the eye-catching fruit.
Trader Faridul Islam at New Market gate area said on Tuesday that many farmers are harvesting litchi with the hope of getting good earnings.
He, however, said the market price of the mouth-watering fruit is comparatively high this season. A comfortable situation everywhere in the society is very important to make any business profitable, Islam added.
Dr Shafiqul Islam, 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 400 hectares of litchi orchards with the creation of new ones. He said commercial farming of some of the fruits especially mango and litchi are gradually being enhanced in the region, including its vast Barind tract.
Ishwardi is now being adjudged as capital of litchi as it possesses commercial litchi orchards on more than 3,000 hectares of land consisting 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 judged as profitable, said Upazila Agriculture Officer RawshanJamil. He told the journalists that around 230 crore litchis were produced here this season valued at around Taka 400 crore.
He said the 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 aristocratic varieties are being traded 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 250 and 300, Madrazi, Bombay and China-3 varieties at rates between Taka 350 and 400 and aristocrat Bedana variety in between Taka 450 and 500 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.
Hundreds of labourers are now engaged in harvesting, segregation and transportation to earn lucrative daily wages.
Monsur Rahman, a farmer of Bangram village Raipur under Paba Upazila, said he has achieved bumper production of litchi this season and sold his high yielding variety litchi in his smaller orchard at Taka 80,000 this season.