Mango growers in five northern districts have so far produced 3,000 tonnes pest-free and safe mangoes through contract farming, targeting the international market.
Bangladesh is one of the largest mango producing countries along with India, China, Thailand, Pakistan, Mexico, Indonesia, Brazil, Philippines and Egypt.
Having delicious taste, captivating flavour with multifarious colours, mango is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants.
Bangladeshi mangoes, especially Himsagor, Lengra, Amrapali, Fajli and Lakhanbhog are high in demand in many countries across the world.
The government has earlier formulated a National Action Plan for the production of pest-free and quality mango for domestic consumption and exports.
Under the plan, pest-free mangoes are being produced under contract farming in Satkhira, Jeshore, Rajshahi, Meherpur and Chapainawabganj, said an official of the plant quarantine wing of Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE).
Mohammad Mozibul Hoque, supply chain specialist of Solidaridad Network Asia, told the daily sun that under their supervision, a total of 500 farmers are producing pest-free and safe mangoes in Satkhira.
“A total of 14 exporters are shipping these mangos to different countries. We are expecting that the production volume in Satkhira would rise to 2,500 tonnes,” he said, adding that 30-40 percent of the total mango outputs would be exported.
The rest of the mangoes will be marketed in the local market through super shops Agora and Unimart and an online marketplace, he said.
DAE director general Mohammad Mohsin will inaugurate the export of Sathkhira’s mango to the European market on May 18, Mozibul Hoque informed.
Md Manzurul Hannan, managing director of Hortex Foundation, a non-profit organisation that promotes exports of different high-quality agro-commodities, said farmers are growing pest-free mangos through contract farming under government’s initiatives.
The action plan was developed through consultations with the stakeholders to leverage multilateral cooperation in developing farmers support, market structures and business linkages for the promotion of sustainable fruits and vegetable production both for the domestic and international markets, he said.
Contract farming has been made mandatory in the action plan for the production and marketing of safe fruits and vegetables. The plan emphasises to maintain the highest level of quality control and food safety standards in the production and post-harvest management, he said.
The implementation of the action plan has been helping farmers produce quality mango and supply directly to the domestic retail market and exporters, Manzurul Hannan said.
Mango farming has been increasing each year as farmers are earning huge profits by cultivating high-yielding and hybrid varieties like Amrapali, BARI- 4 along with traditional and popular indigenous varieties.
Different varieties of mangoes are being produced in the country. Of them, most prominent ones are Amrapali, Surjapuri, BARI 4 Fazli, Haribhanga, Aswina, Khirshapati, Guti and Mistimodhu.
Farmers have also been showing greater interest in commercial farming of sweet mangoes like Gopalbhog, Lengra, Fazlee, Nakfazlee, Khirsapati, Mohanbhog, Chyatapori, Haribhanga and Lakhna owing to their high demand.
Fazli, Lengra, Gopalbhog and Khisrapat are considered to be the premier varieties of Bangladeshi mango.
Bangladesh produced 1,156,000 tonnes of mango in 2017. Mango production stood at 1,162,000 tonnes 2016, 1,018,000 tonnes in 2015 and 992,000 tonnes in 2014.