Vol. 5 Num 351 Wed. May 25, 2005  
Star City

Summer fruits too hot to touch

Summer fruits have started arriving in the city markets but the prices are beyond the reach of most customers.

Watermelon, jackfruit, pineapple, litchis, palm and some varieties of mangoes are available at Karwan Bazar, New Market, Gulshan, Hatirpool and other kitchen markets.

A watermelon now sells at Tk 60-70 at Karwan Bazar wholesale market while pineapple is sold at Tk 15-25 per piece.

Abdul Bari, a fruits supplier said, "Pineapple is bought from Tangail at Tk 2 to Tk 8 a piece and a watermelon at Tk 10."

Another fruit vendor at Mohakhali Bazar, Shah Alam, said Taal (palm) has huge demand in summer as its juice is used to make delicious pies.

This fruit comes mainly from Faridpur, Pabna, Noakhali, Barisal and Jessore. The price is Tk 250 to Tk 300 per 100 pieces.

"The price is too high," said Rokonuddin, a customer at Hatirpool bazaar. He wanted to buy a medium-size watermelon, but the seller charged Tk 90. "I bought similar size watermelons last year at Tk 60-70," he added.

Traders said the prices of watermelon and litchis would come down when supplies increase in the next two weeks. But they also said the harvest is relatively poor this year due to bad weather.

Litchis are now selling at Tk 150 per 100 pieces in Karwan Bazar and Tk 200 in Gulshan market. The price was around Tk 120 last year.

Litchis come from Rajshahi, Dinajpur, Pabna and Mymens-ingh districts. The traders do not foresee any significant fall in its price in the next two weeks.

Different types of mangoes are now available in the city markets -- such as Guti, Himshagor and Gopalbhog. These fruits come from Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj, Satkhira and other districts.

As the supply of the favourite variety 'Langra' will take at least 5-6 weeks to come, the vendors are selling low-quality imported mangoes at higher prices. One kilogram of Himshagor mangoes sells at Tk 50-60 in the city markets.

Jackfruits, an attraction for many, are also pricey. This fruit comes from Tangail, Gazipur, Mymensingh and Chittagong. A piece of jackfruit sells between Tk 50 and Tk 100 depending on its size. Traders said the price might come down soon.

A vendor seduces a customer with a bunch of lichtis at Purana Paltan. PHOTO: STAR