Sunday, 24 October, 2021

Mango add around Tk 87-cr in Rajshahi's economy

Significant number of mangoes were sold in the recently ended harvesting and marketing season in the district contributing a lot to its economy.

Conventionally, the mango season ended around a month back here but some varieties, including Ashwina, BARI-4 and Katimon, are now available.

Towfiqur Rahman, Additional Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), told BSS that mangoes worth around Taka 86.85 crore were sold in the district, while the previous year's selling figure was around Taka 71.82 crore.

Agriculturist Rahman said mangoes were cultivated on around 17,943 hectares of land yielding around 2.17 lakh tonnes of mango this season. In the previous 2019-2020 season, the farmers harvested around 1.80 lakh tonnes of mango from 17,686 hectares of land.

In the current season, around 15 metric tonnes of mangoes were exported to various European countries, including Germany, France, Italy and Switzerland, against 12 tonnes in the previous season.

Meanwhile, 'Catimon', a mango variety of Thailand, is giving mango round the year in the region breaking the existing record of around three months harvesting season from May to mid August of the delicious fruit.

The tree of exotic variety contains mango and flower or budding simultaneously giving yield three to four times in a year against the single one of the conventional varieties.

Rafiqul Islam, a farmer of Durgapur upazila, has established an orchard of the non-conventional mango variety at Maria village under the same upazila inspiring many of his co-villagers to follow the path.

He collected 1,100 saplings of the variety at Taka 180 per piece from Dinajpur and transplanted those on 25 bigha of land on pond embankment around two years back. Flowers started appearing in the subsequent

Rafique said the number of fruits was non-satisfactory due to less weight and height of trees last year. But he got three to five kilograms of yield from each of the trees on an average during the latest season. He's hoping to get mangoes four times this year.

Dr Alim Uddin, Principal Scientific Officer of Regional Fruit Research Station, said they are conducting research on Thailand's variety to assess its extent of disease infestation.

However, the variety has already reached the farmers' level directly creating a new dimension in the field of mango farming.

With the passing of time many high yielding mangoes and modern technologies are coming and enriching the mango production sector gradually vibrating the region's economic sector.

Dr Alim said mango farming in Ultra High Density Mango Planting (UHDMP) method has gained popularity as the growers are getting additional income after the best uses of the method in the region, including its vast Barind tract.

The modern farming system has brought a new dimension to the local economy side by side with diversifying the cropping pattern in the region.

Hefaz Uddin, 60, a resident of Bailkapara village of Nachole upazila in Chapainawabganj, has been earning money from his land regularly through adopting the method for the last couple of years.

In 2018, he planted 100 trees of BARI-4 mango variety leaving behind the conventional variety on his one acre of land after getting intensive training on UHDMP.

He got yield from 84 trees next year, fetching Taka 51,120. "I had harvested 6.7 kilograms of yield from each of the trees on an average," Hafez said with a smiling face, while talking to BSS on Thursday.

Expecting more income from his land with the application of new agricultural technology, he said the UHDM orchards are contributing a lot towards extra income giving better life to the beneficiary family members at present.