Jasim Uddin Haroon
Consumption of banana has increased during the month of Ramadan when a growing number of people take the cheaper fruit while breaking fast.
Its prices have also dropped, thanks to a surge in its supply by around 30 per cent in the city.
According to the wholesale traders, city dwellers have been consuming around 4.6 million pieces of banana a day.
Around 70 trucks loaded with the banana from northern districts enter into city every day. Each truck carries at least 65000 pieces of banana worth around Tk 12 million, market operators said.
The banana, mainly Sagar variety, is now entering into the city from greater Dinajpur, the main growing area.
There are other varieties like Sabri and Champa available in the market.
Md Montu Talukdar, a leading banana trader and proprietor of Masud Traders at Waisghat in the city, said the demand for banana usually rises during the Ramadan.
"The price of banana is now cheaper compared to the level two weeks back," he told the FE.
"The market has adequate supply of banana as it is the peak season coinciding with Ramadan market," Talukdar, who is also joint secretary of Waisghat banana traders association.
The main banana growing areas are greater Dinajpur, Jessore, Tangail, Bogra, Narsingdi.
However, there are several banana wholesale stores in the city. These are located in the city's Waisghat, Bakland Bhand, Badamtoli, Jatrabari, Tejgaon, Mirpur and Natunbazar in Gulshan.
They supply of banana to the city's thousands of vendors each day.
At wholesale level, the price of a banana ranges between Tk 2.0 and Tk 3.0. The price was higher by at least 25 per cent before the onset of Ramadan.
The price of banana at retail revel ranges between Tk 3.0 and Tk 5.0 a piece.
Shah Munshi, a banana trader at Jatrabari said: "Currently, we are getting good quality of banana and its supply will continue over the few weeks."
He said the prices of banana declined this Ramadan due mainly to a boost in supply.
However, traders said the prices of banana could come down further had there not been a hike in transport cost.
Dipu, a manager of a wholesale store at Wasighat, said that the cost for carrying banana has doubled over past few months.
He said: "We now pay Tk 16,000 for carrying a truck of banana against Tk 8000 earlier."
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