Traders of palmyra palm fruit in Pirojpur are enjoying higher profits this season with demands for the fruit on the rise across the country.
Improved road communications with different districts and cities, especially Dhaka, is also enabling the traders cater to the increased demand this year, said locals.
"Without much planning, we usually plant palmyra palm trees by roadsides or on the boundaries of our land," said Hafizur Rahman, from Pattashi village in Indurkani upazila.
The palmyra fruits used to get damaged when palm juice collectors climbed the trees to gather juice. But with passage of time, the juice collectors changed profession, allowing the palmyra palm trees grow plenty of fruits.
People involved in the business said the prices and demands for palmyra palm fruit are very high at the beginning of the season.
"At the beginning, one piece of palm fruit can be sold at a wholesale market in Dhaka for as high as Tk 15," said wholesale buyer Abdul Malek Howlader, from Uttar Bhabanipur village in Indurkani upazila.
Wholesale buyers in the area pay between Tk 500 and Tk 800 to the owner of a palmyra palm tree for all the fruits on the tree. Then there is a cost of around Tk 600 for collection and stocking.
Finally, to transport the produce out of the district, the traders spend around Tk 16,000 to hire a truck that usually holds approximately 8,000 palmyra fruits.
By the time the season reaches its end, wholesale selling rate of each fruit falls to Tk 4 to Tk 5, said Abdul Malek.
After weeks of disruption during the season due to Covid-19 situation, the business started to pick up about ten days ago and now the traders have been shipping out over 50 thousand palmyra fruits every day to different parts of the country, said some of the traders.
The season of palmyra fruits is likely to last for another ten days, they also said.
The higher demands for the fruit are also strengthening the rural economy by creating work opportunities for local labourers.
Khejurtala village resident Selim Faraji said he has been making as much as Tk 600 daily, by climbing palmyra palm trees to collect the fruit.