The price of green papaya showed uptrend in the city kitchen markets in last few days, market sources said.
Green papaya, which is an available vegetable round-the-year, was selling at Tk 60-80 a kilogramme (kg) in different city kitchen markets during last few days as compared to Tk 45-55 a kg one week ago.
The average price of the vegetable was Tk 36.50 a kg in Dhaka a month back, according to the Department of Agricultural Marketing (DAM) report.
Traders said crop losses due to cyclone Amphan have caused the price surge.
Faisal Ali, a vendor at Rayer Bazar, told the FE that papaya is considered as the cheapest vegetable across the year when other items are traded at much higher rates. But the vegetable price was on the rising trend for last one and half months, he said.
He said that they sold green papaya maximum at Tk 40 a kg last year when its wholesale price was at best Tk 25-28 a kg at Beribadh or Karwan Bazar.
Haji Kamal Ahmed, a vegetable trader at Sadeq Khan Krishi Market in Rayer Bazar- Beribadh, said the supply plunged this year from two biggest hubs - Khulna and Rajshahi divisions - that produce 60 per cent of the vegetable.
Nor'westers in April and May and the latest cyclone Amphan have damaged papaya trees both at gardens and homesteads, he said. And normally the collection of papaya declines to some extent in May-June period, which has also an impact on the market.
He said green papaya was selling at Tk 34-35 a kg at the hubs like Jashore, Rajshahi, Magura and Mymensingh districts, which was Tk 16-20 a kg in the same period last year.
He said the transportation cost is also Tk 3.0-4.0 a kg now during this pandemic period, which was maximum of Tk 1.0 a kg in the normal time.
He said the price of papaya might start falling from July with beginning of fruit collection across the country. Though the veggie is available round-the-year, but July-September is its peak harvesting time.
However, the latest report of Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) showed that a total of 2,055 hectares of papaya gardens have been affected by the Amphan.
DAE said a total of 10,500 hectares of land came under commercial papaya gardening this year.
The Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) 2018 data showed that the country produces more than 0.39 million tonnes of papaya at both commercial gardens and homesteads.
Of the papaya, 0.256 million tonnes were consumed as vegetables while 0.13 million tonnes as fruits, according to BBS.