Muladuli vegetable market in Ishwardi upazila under the district is buzzing with activities as the largest 'bean market' of the northern region sees trading of beans worth Tk 80 lakh to 1 crore daily during the ongoing reaping season.
Sixty to 70 trucks loaded with the popular winter vegetable go to Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet, Narayanganj and other areas of the country every day from Muladuli market, said Aminur Rahman Babu, a bean wholesaler, also a leading farmer of the region.
"The farmers from different villages of Muladuli union in Ishwardi upazila, Khidirpur, Par Khidirpur and Ramchandrapur unions of Atghoria upazila, and Zonail, Haripur and the adjoining villages of Chatmohar upazila under Pabna district bring their produces to this market," said Abdul Hamid, president of Muladuli vegetable traders' association.
The farmers from Baraigram, Gopalpur and Lalpur upazilas in Natore district also bring their beans to Muladuli market, he said, adding, "Now a maund of bean is selling for Tk 600 to 650. The price will reduce within next couple of weeks when the supply becomes more available."
"We collect the beans from the farmers and later sell it to the traders coming from different areas of the country. At least 3,000 to 4,000 maunds of beans were traded daily in this market during the last one week. The amount is increasing every day as the largest bean zone saw bumper production this year," said Md Robiul Alam Bachhu, a wholesaler at Muladuli market.
Muladuli union of Ishwardi upazila is the country's largest bean producing area where a large number of farmers cultivate bean as their main crop.
"More and more farmers are opting for profitable bean cultivation in Ishwardi and adjoining areas of the district. Around over 3.5 thousand hectares of cultivated land in the district, including 1500 hectares in Muladuli union alone, have been brought under bean cultivation this year while the area was 2200 hectares last year," Ishwardi upazila agriculture officer Md Khurshid Alam said.
"Tk 12/14 thousand is spent for farming bean on each bigha of land. If there is no natural calamity a farmer can get 80 to 100 maunds of bean in a season (production available for two months). Covering the production cost, a farmer can easily earn Tk 15 to 20 thousand from a bigha of land," he said.
Farmers have demanded arrangement of storage facilities to ensure fair price of the vegetable.