Muslim devotees love to break their fast by having seasonal fruits. Taking this as an advantage, a section of traders across the country reportedly hikes prices of different fruits every year. This year is no exception. The prices of watermelon have already gone up several times. The traders are buying the fruit by piece from farmers, but the retailers are selling them by weight (kilogram wise). The price is higher than the previous year's as watermelons are being sold by weight instead of by piece this year. Though the authorities have been monitoring and fining those who are involved in suchmalpractices, drives are still insufficient.
So, consumers have to keep counting more money to buy watermelons by weight. A group of netizens has even started campaigning on the social media to boycott the fruit. Besides, ripe mangoes have started coming to the market. Unfortunately, most of them are chemically ripened. According to media reports, law enforcers found mangoes ripened by calcium carbide in a drive in Barishal. The use of carbide in fruit ripening can be very harmful for human health.
These incidents make us think how long we will have to wait for a fair price and quality food, especially in the holy month of Ramadan. Unless all stakeholders are forced to change their mind-set, things are difficult to change. Only drives by law enforcers will not address the situation. Focussing on public awareness, motivating sellers and farmers, and market monitoring is also crucial.
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