It has been a good time for lemon farmers as they are getting fair prices of the fruit amid the pandemic. The growers in Sreemangal upazila are largely dependent on lemon farming.
According to experts, while there is still no cure found for coronavirus, there are ways to keep immune system functioning optimally, which can help people stay healthy. Lemon is the rich source of vitamin C. So people should consume it as much as they can to boost the immune system.
Md Sadek Mia, a farmer of Jamburacherra village in the upazila, said he is getting fair prices from selling the fruit. Per piece of lemon is being sold for Tk 5 to Tk 8.
Another lemon grower Milon Sheikh of the same village said they got a bumper yield due to the availability of water, favourable weather, suitable land and cheaper labour costs. The price is also very high due to coronavirus outbreak.
As the consumption of lemon helps to boost the immunity system, he is getting huge order for the juicy fruit from the buyers, said Milon.
Shaymal Debborma, a lemon grower of Tipracherra, said "People, especially marginal farmers, are cultivating lemon in the area since Pakistan period. We have been cultivating here from the time of our forefathers. It is our traditional business."
Shaymal also said "I don't see such high price of lemon in my life. This time the demand soars due to coronavirus outbreak."
Jasim Uddin, president of Anaros, Lebu and Arat Samity in Sreemangal, said the juicy and tasty fruit, lemon, has been growing abundantly in the area since long time.
Normally during this season, 1000 pieces of lemon were sold for Tk 1500 to Tk 2000 in the wholesale market but now it is priced at Tk 5,000 to Tk 7000, said Jasim.
Mizanur Rahman, a trader of Notunbazar area in Sreemangal, said during the last few days, the price of lemon increased due to high demand. Small-sized lemons are being sold for Tk 8 to Tk 12 each.
Abul Kashem, a resident of Purbasha village in Sreemangal, said in the challenging time, local health assistants asked them to take lemon juice as much as they can to boost the immunity system. Due to this, he came to buy lemons at the market where a piece of small-sized lemon was being sold for Tk 9. Meanwhile, a piece of medium-sized lemon was being sold for Tk 15.
Dr Nurul Haque of Kulaura Upazila Health Complex said 40 milligrams of vitamin C or ascorbic acid from a medium sized lemon is enough to meet a person's daily need.
Vitamin C enhances the function of immune cells in the body, he said.
Kazi Lutful Bari, deputy director of Department Agricultural Extension (DAE) in Moulvibazar, said most popular varieties of lemon are Kagoji, Jara, Jhuta, China, Elachi, Beej-Shunya, and Sharboti. Most of the total demand of lemon of the country is being met from Sreemangal.
The DAE official also said that the price of lemon in the region has increased due to high demand. As a result, the farmers are getting fair prices from selling the fruit.