- Currently, guava is sold at Tk15-20 per kg while it was sold at Tk3-5 per kg during lockdown.
- Around 130-140 tonne guava is sold daily.
- The daily transaction of the markets is around Tk40-50 lakh.
- 4,000-5,000 tourists visit the floating markets and surrounding areas daily.
- Around 200-250 small boats and 100 trawlers carry around tourists there.
Hundreds of small boats carrying guava move through the canals every day to reach the floating markets in Barishal, attracting thousands of tourists.
The largest floating markets are at Vimruli area in Jhalakathi and Atgharkariana area in Nesarabad upazila of Pirojpur. All the tourist spots surrounding them were vacant during the lockdown, but after lifting it in August, the tourists have been flocking there from all over the country.
The two-hundred-year-old floating markets sit every morning round the year, but they are most thriving during the monsoon season when guava and hog plum grow, said the local people.
The markets are famous for selling guava but they also sell all kinds of local vegetables and fruits from early morning to midday.
Many wholesale buyers go to the markets early in the morning for buying the agricultural goods available there.
Currently the farmers are getting very good price for guava, but during the lockdown they had to face a crisis of buyers, so they sold their goods for a very low price.
"Now the guava is sold at Tk15-20 per kg while it was sold at Tk3-5 per kg during lockdown," said Suvrojeet a wholesale buyer in Barishal.
"The demand for guava has been increasing across the country after the lockdown was lifted," he said adding that this season guava farmers were paid good price for their products.
Around 130-140 tonne guava is sold in the markets daily, according to the buyers and sellers there.
The daily transaction of the markets is around Tk40-50 lakh including tourists' expenditure.
Tourists love journey by boat
The tourists like to visit the places surrounding the markets to enjoy travelling by boats on the canals flowing through guava orchards.
Every day around 4,000-5,000 tourists visit the markets and the surrounding areas, according to the estimation of local traders and farmers.
Around 200-250 small boats and 100 trawlers run in the areas to carry around the tourists.
Farmers sell a large volume of guava to the tourists for a good price, said Shanjoy Halder, a guava farmer from Jhalakathi Sadar upazila.
"The tourists are a blessing for us as we can sell our agriculture products to them for a fair price," he added.
Every farmer in the area has a small boat and they earn a good amount of money by offering trips for the tourists.
Either the farmer himself or some other male members of his family go to the market with the small boats for carrying the tourists. Many of the boatmen serving the tourists are school or college students.
"I earn around Tk500-700 daily by carrying travellers on my boat," said Ripon Das, a student of class 10 who regularly carries tourists on his small boat.
"It is a great pleasure to watch the beauty of the floating market and guava orchards when we travel by the beautiful small boats," said Al Muin a tourist from Dhaka.
Different groups of local university students have set up 10 parks inside the guava orchards in Jhalakathi and Pirojpur and they offer different types of foods including lunch for the tourists.
"We are earning Tk5,000-7,000 daily during the pick season by selling food," said Debashis, an entrepreneur of one of those parks.
To attract visitors, the local administration has provided good sanitation system and water supply at the tourist spots. Those tourist sites also have good road connection with all parts of the country.