When the whole country has been experiencing extreme heat for more than two weeks at a stretch, the price of a medium sized green coconut has crossed Tk 100 in Bagerhat, the southern district which is known as one of the largest producers of coconuts in the country.
The sellers say the demand of green coconuts is high especially as those fasting enjoy a a sip of cool 'daber pani' during the Iftar. But the supply of green coconut is less than the demand. That’s why the price has increased.
Refuting this, buyers allege the retailers have simply taken advantage of th situation and increased the price.
A medium sized green coconut was seen selling at Tk 70-110 in Mithapukurpar, Shishu Hospital Mor, and Bus Stand area on Wednesday. Many people were seen returning empty handed after learning the price.
Saidul Islam, a green coconut seller in Mithapukurpar area, told Prothom Alo, “The price is high from the very first day of the Ramadan. We climb tree, bring down the coconuts and and sell them. We buy every green coconut at Tk 50 from the owner of the tree. We have to sell the coconut after covering all the expenses.”
Ali Akbar, a resident from Muniganj of the town said, “The price of a medium sized green coconut, which would contain one and a half glass water, is Tk 100. It is tough to buy green coconuts at such a high price.”
As per the district agriculture department nearly 29,500 tonnes of coconut is produced in Bagerhat every year. This is supplied to Dhaka and other districts of the country.
Al-Amin Sheikh, who is involved with coconut trading at Fatepur Bazar for the last five years said, “The production of green coconuts has decreased. I used to send two trucks of green coconuts (10,000 pieces) every day from my shop at this time last year. But this year I cannot even buy 2,000 green coconuts a day. The average price of a green coconut at the wholesale level is Tk 50. Besides, the transport cost is also high now. Wholesalers of different districts buy from us. From them the retailers buy and sell those at Tk 100-160 per piece.”
Al-Amin further said the price has increased by Tk 15-18 per green coconut than last year as the production is less this year.
However, Bagerhat district agriculture extension department claimed the production has not decreased. Rafiqul Islam, deputy director of the Bagerhat office of district agriculture extension department said the coconut trading involves nearly Tk 271.56 crore (over 2.71 billion) in the district each year. The production of green coconut has not decreased due to the weather. Rather, the production has increased in the district than two years ago. But many people have got involved with green coconut business as the demand has increased in and outside of the district. The supply in the wholesale market has decreased to some extent for this, he added.