Around 300 metric tons of mangoes are likely to be exported to different countries in Europe and Middle East from Rajshahi during the current season. A total of 220 mango growers only in Bagha Upazila have already signed contracts for exporting the mangoes through the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE).
DAE deputy director Mozder Hossain told journalists that the farmers have grown mangoes appropriately for exporting those. They will start harvesting the exportable mangoes within the next couple of days. Agriculturalist Hossain said they are hoping to export mangoes valued at around Taka 300 crore this year.
Shafiqul Islam, a farmer of Bagha Upazila, said they have been exporting mangoes to different markets in Europe and Middle East for the last couple of years. They have also produced mangoes suitable for export through adopting fruit bagging technology this year.
On behalf of the DAE, the farmers are being imparted training on production, harvest and post-harvest management of the exportable mangoes so that they can export qualitative and standard fruit. Islam, who has been exporting mangoes to various countries since 2014, said adding there are huge demands of Rajshahi's mango in foreign markets and many farmers and value chain actors got the necessary training on best agricultural practices.
"We produce mango through contract farming with 20 farmers in Bagha upazila. This mango is produced for export to the European market," said Shafiqul Islam. Mango export is almost double profitable than that of selling in local markets. But additional cost and care is needed for preparing the exportable mango as it requires use of modern technologies, he said.
"If we get requisite facilities in the fields of export, the volume of mango export will be boosted up to a greater extent," he added. There is no packaging house in Bagha for mango exports and so the mango will go to a packaging house in Dhaka, he said.
As a result, some mangoes get damaged before reaching Dhaka. He, however, said there is a demand for mango in the international market, but Bangladesh's mango has very little access to the UK or USA markets. "Hot water treatment is an important issue for mango export to protect mangoes from insects. But Bangladesh's mangoes are not given this treatment after harvesting.
Abdul Jalil, Deputy Commissioner, said the district administration is extending all possible cooperation to the mango farmers and traders. The Upazila Monitoring Committee has been working to make sure only the qualitative mangoes are exported, he said.
"We are determined to brighten the country's image abroad through the mango export," he added.