The incessant rains since the last couple of days have hit the pineapple traders of Lower Assam’s Dhubri district.
Rains have also severely affected the pineapple traders from Meghalaya’s Chibinang, a small helmet located about 90 km from the Tura, the district headquarters of West Garo Hills.
Ananta Paul, a local trader of Asharikandi area of Dhubri district said, “We wait every year for this time to come as it means the pineapple season.”
“We already have contacted the local growers and traders as well of Meghalaya’s Chibinang, whose products we buy every year and bring it to Dhubri and Gauripur through river Brahmaputra for selling the same in local markets of Dhubri district and its adjourning area,” added Paul.
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But, as it is raining since the last couple of days in these areas, the prices of the pineapple in local market has gone down as the local vendors do not want to purchase the fruit more, said Paul.
Another trader, Nazir Hussain of Gauripur said, “I have had already purchased good quantity of pineapples from the growers, but I am worried due to absence of buyers.”
“I am a small trader and only manage about 1-2 boats per day and even I have failed to sell it on daily basis,” Hussain added.
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The wholesale price of pineapples at Chibinang is about Rs. 15,000-17,000 per thousand and after transporting through boat to Dhubri, its price goes up to about Rs 18,000-20,000 per thousand.
“As there is no any facility of cold storage in Dhubri district, we are bound to sell it in low price than the rate at which we had purchased,” said Nazir Hussain.
The fruit has been in huge demand in scorching weather across the country.
And, it is sold even at Rs 80 to Rs100 in some parts of the country owing to the demand for pineapples to beat the heat.
Chibinang has always been famous for pineapple trade.
Chibinang has been producing the fruit for decades now and the traders wait for three months when they move to neighbouring villages and buy the fruits from the locals.
“The fruit is extremely popular due to its taste and because it is organic,” said Jyotirmoy Chakraborty, a regular consumer of pineapple at Gauripur town.
According to local people, pineapple production has grown up and farmers of nearly 10-15 villages in and around Chibinanag produce the fruit in bulk.
There are about 40-50 well established pineapple traders who are active in Chibinanag.