Green coconut trade is now boon for middlemen but bane for farmers.
Farmers grow coconut with the hope that it would help them to survive round the year but they are never able to reap the expected benefit from the fruit cultivation. They never get proper price.
Plenty of quality coconut is grown in all southern districts, which are supplied to different parts of the country.
During summer, the demand for the fruit has gradually increased in the capital and other cities.
As the green coconut contains sweet, fresh and tasty water which refreshes the body, people like to drink it especially during the scorching summer heat.
A tree bears coconut four or five years after its plantation in the month of June and July, said Md Riaj Bahadur, agriculture officer of Rajapur upazila.
The coconut of the area is sweeter and larger than other areas as the land of the coastal area is very favourable for growing the fruit, said Sheikh Abu Bakar Siddik, deputy director of agriculture extension office in Jhalakathi.
After buying coconuts from farmers, local traders sell them to middle businessmen, who later sell the fruits to wholesalers in Dhaka. The wholesalers then sell it to vendors or small traders who sell it to consumers across the capital, said local trader Rahman Sheikh.
Local collectors buy each coconut for Tk 10 to Tk 15 from the farmers. The local traders then pay Tk 20 for a coconut which is sold to Dhaka wholesalers for Tk 29 to Tk 35. The petty traders and vendors later buy one coconut for Tk 40. The consumers then pay Tk 45 to 60 for the fruit, said Rahman.
They have been running the coconut trade for over two decades and got prosperity, said Bachchu Hawlader, business partner of Rahman, adding that they earned profit of Tk five to ten by selling each coconut.
“I was surprised knowing that a green coconut is sold for Tk 60 while we get Tk 10 to Tk 15 only,” said Md Majeda Begum, a coconut farmer of Rajapur.