The vegetable growers of Cumilla had always worried about their produce for lack of marketing and storage facilities, but now there has been a surprising reverse in their fate.
It all began with when they started exporting vegetables to the Middle East and Europe with the help of a government marketing centre.
Huge vegetables are now exported from Nimsar Bazar in Cumilla, the largest wholesale vegetable market of the country, said farmers.
These vegetables are collected from 400 marginal farmers who formed 20 associations with the help of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE).
The export volume of the chemical-free vegetables keeps rising, bringing back smiles to the farmers’ faces.
According to the Agricultural Products Procurement and Marketing Centre located at Nimsar Bazar, seven tonnes of vegetables are exported from the district every month on average while it goes up to 10 tonnes during winter.
Vegetables like arum lobe, bottle gourd, pumpkin, cucumber, snake bean, bitter gourd, luffa gourd, malabar spinach, red spinach and eggplant are exported to the Middle East and European countries.
Sajeeb Molla, an official at Agricultural Products Procurement and Marketing Centre, Cumilla said 4,620 kgs of arum lobe were exported to the UK and Italy, 1,015 kgs of bottle gourd to Italy, 220 kgs of cucumber to the UK, 220 kgs of pumpkin to Italy in September.
According to the DAE, some 21,090 hectares of land were brought under vegetable cultivation and some 4,72,374 metric tonnes of vegetables have been produced in the district this year.
Only 1.5 lakh metric tonnes of vegetables are needed for the district to meet the local demand while several hundred tonnes of vegetables are supplied to Dhaka, Chattogram, Noakhali, Feni, Laxmipur and Chandpur districts, said DAE officials.