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Watermelon starts arriving in capital, but prices too high

Rokon Uddin
06 Mar 2023 00:00:00 | Update: 06 Mar 2023 00:16:56
Watermelon starts arriving in capital, but prices too high
Sellers at various markets in Dhaka are asking Tk 600-700 for each watermelon weighing 10-15kg – Shamsul Haque Ripon

Watermelon, a juicy fruit of the summer season, starts arriving in different markets of the capital city. Though the price of watermelon produced in advance is low at farmers’ level, it costs double at retail level. A large-sized watermelon weighing 8-15 kg is being sold at Tk 60-65 per kg while it is Tk30-32 per kg at farmers’ level in the country’s southern region, including Patuakhali.

There are still 15-20 days left for the start of the main watermelon season when supply will pick up and prices will come down, farmers and vendors said.

According to the farmers, the current price is a bit higher as it is an early variety watermelon. The price of big-sized watermelon will gradually come down to Tk 15-20 per kg.

During visit to various markets, including Gopibagh and Segunbagicha in the capital on Saturday, it was seen that fruit sellers were asking Tk 600-700 for each watermelon weighing 10-15 kg. If anyone wants to know the price per kg, they are asking Tk 60-70.

A buyer named Abdur Rahim who bought a watermelon weighing 9 kg at Tk 550 from the capital’s Maniknagar market on Saturday afternoon said, “Instead of buying foreign fruit as a gift to relatives, I bought watermelon as a local fruit. The price of foreign fruits is more than that of local fruits. Watermelon can be bought both by kg and piece, but the price is the same. Sellers fix the price in advance.”

In Gopibagh market, a buyer wanted to pay Tk 450 for a watermelon weighing 8 kg, but the seller did not agree to sell it at this price. He fixed the price at Tk 500 (Tk 62 per kg).

Watermelons weighing 3-5 kg are being sold at Tk 150-250 in these markets. The asking price as kg is Tk 50 per kg.

Supershop Agora in Segunbagicha area was selling watermelons at Tk 49 per kg on Friday.

Monir Hossain, seller at Mallik Enterprises in Jatrabari, said that 100 small-sized watermelons (4-5 kg) are being sold at Tk 15-20 thousand.

These watermelons are coming from Rangabali in Patuakhali. Now 7-8 trucks carrying watermelons arrive in Dhaka every day. When the full season starts, about 100 trucks will come every day with watermelons, he added.

“But the price at the farmers’ level is half than that of the retail market.”

Rezaul Karim, a farmer of Rangabali upazila of Patuakhali, told The Business Post over mobile phone that he cultivated watermelon on 9 acres of land. “We are getting good prices due to early harvesting. I can sell it for Tk 30-32 per kg. I have to deliver these watermelons to various wholesale markets, including Dhaka and Rajshahi by my own transport. So, the actual price will be lower. Last Thursday, I sold 100 watermelons, weighing 10-15 kg each, to a wholesaler in Dhaka at Tk32,000.”

Earlier watermelons were sold as pieces, but for the past few years, watermelons are being sold by weight in different parts of the country, including the capital city.

“So, we also sometimes sell according by kg, if the weight is less than 5 kg, I can sell it at a maximum of Tk 18 per kg. Watermelon weighing 10-15 kg can be sold at Tk 30-32,” he added.