In the Southern region of Bangladesh, rivers and canals crisscross, creating a lush green landscape. You can see a lot of green guava orchards if you're aboard a boat travelling through the canals. Thousands of farmers earn their livelihood growing and selling these guavas. Farmers and wholesalers gather in several floating markets in a region that resembles the floating market of Thailand.
Guava, a berry-like fruit, is often called the “apple of the tropics”. Although it originated in tropical America (in the land between Mexico and Peru), today it is one of the important fruit crops of Bangladesh, where it's grown all over the country. The southern region of Bangladesh—especially districts of Barisal, Pirojpur, and Jhalokathi—are the main Guava-producing areas.
Shamsheer writes in Somewhereinblog about the floating markets he visited:
কুড়িয়ানা বাজার, আটঘর আর ভীমরুলি বাজারে বসে পেয়ারার হাট। চাষীরা বাগান থেকে পেয়ারা সরাসরি ছোট ছোট নৌকায় করে এসব হাঁটে নিয়ে আসে, পাইকাররা এখান থেকে সংগ্রহ করে পৌঁছে দেয় সারা বাংলাদেশে।
The floating Guava markets are found in Kuryana, Atghor, and Vimruli. Villagers from the region come by small boats to sell their guava and wholesalers collect them to distribute all over Bangladesh.
Nobody is certain when exactly this floating market began, but the tradition is at least a century old. The market at Bhimruli over Kirtipasha canal is the biggest of them all. It comes to life during the Guava season, which is from July to August. Other fruits, like Hog Plum lemons, coconuts, and bananas, are also sold in the markets throughout the year. The farmers don't have proper communication or cold-storage facilities, resulting in poor market prices, but the proliferation of mobile phones is changing this scenario.
“Journey to Bangladesh” uploaded a video on Youtube showing the floating markets and guava gardens in Barisal backwaters.
Photographer Md. Moyazzem Mostakim shares dozens of wonderful photos of the floating market on his Facebook page, Timur Photography, which has gained viral appeal online. With Mostakim's permission, we have highlighted some of his photographs below.
You can find more pictures of this floating guava market here.