Rangpur farmers are expecting an excellent production of the fibreless, fleshy and highly yummy 'Haribhanga' mango as its harvest continues in full swing now with excellent yield rate in the district.
Officials of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) predicted an excellent output of the mango despite a little damage caused by hailstorms and heavy rains during the fruit formation periods this season.
Though there were less rainfalls during and after the flowering stage, subsequent rainfalls helped a lot in smooth growth of the tender fruit resulting in comparatively big-sized 'Haribhanga' mango having huge demand in local markets.
Hundreds of farmers have cultivated 'Haribhanga' mango on 2,500 hectares of land in all five districts of Rangpur region and adjoining areas, including on 1,865 hectares of land in Rangpur alone, this year.
"We are expecting a production of 29,000 tonnes of 'Haribhanga' mango worth about Taka 100 crore at the farmers' levels in Rangpur alone this season," Deputy Director of the DAE for Rangpur Agriculturist Md. Obaidur Rahman Mandal said.
Commercial basis cultivation of 'Haribhanga' mango is expanding every year and bringing self-reliance to hundreds of farmers.
'Haribhanga' mango is mostly being cultivated in the orchards in Podaganj, Khoragach, Ruposhi, Rangatipara, Bangaon, Paikarerhat, Rukniganj, Tekani, Moyenpur, Kadamtala, Lalpukur, Shukurerhat, Shikarpur, Phulchowki, Tilakpara, Kashimpur, Ucha Balua, Matherhat and many other villages in Mithapukur upazila of Rangpur.
The mango is largely being cultivated in dozens of villages under all other seven upazilas of Rangpur and other places of Rangpur agriculture region and adjoining Parbatipur, Nababganj, Phulbari, Birampur and Chirirbandar upazilas of Dinajpur.
Market sources said the per kg price of 'Haribhanga' mango currently remains between Taka 60 and 80 and the price is rising every day onward as harvesting of the mango will end by this month end.
"The price of 'Haribhanga' mango might go up to 300 to 500 per kg at the end of the harvesting season in the last week of this month," said fruit trader at Rangpur City Bazar Fazlur Rahman today.
Local people said Nafal Uddin Paikar, a tree-loving man from Tekani village in Khoragachh union of Mithapukur upazila first started farming 'Haribhanga' mango about seven decades ago.
Nafal Uddin Paikar died in 1970, the year before Bangladesh's independence, at the age of 120.
"Now the mother 'Haribhanga' tree planted by Nafal Uddin Paikar is 68 years old," said Amjad Hossain Paikar, son of Nafal Uddin Paikar.
Amjad Hossain Paikar demanded protection of the mother 'Haribhanga' mango plant.
Shahjahan Miah, a mango farmer from Tekani village of Khoragachh union, said he has been cultivating 'Haribhanga' mango on an orchard since 2012 and is reaping better profits every year.
One of the successful mango farmers Abdus Salam of village Akhirarhat in Mithapukur upazila said he has been cultivating the indigenous variety of 'Haribhanga' mango since 1992 contributing a lot to the expansion of its farming in Rangpur region.
"Following my footsteps and success, many people are now becoming inclined to cultivate 'Haribhanga' mangoes on the high and low abandoned lands in the hope of making more profit than other crops," he said, adding that he has 25 'Haribhanga' mango gardens now.
Additional Director of the DAE for Rangpur region Agriculturist Md. Emdad Hossain Sheikh said farmers are expanding cultivation of 'Haribhanga' mango every year and gradually attaining a sustainable agro-economy in Rangpur and adjoining areas.
The DAE, Department of Agriculture Marketing and district administration have taken steps to ensure smooth marketing of 'Haribhanga' mango to assist farmers in getting fair price of their produce this season.
"Besides, many youths of Rangpur are now doing good business through online marketing of 'Haribhanga' mango' to reach the tasty fruit to people across the country through courier services," Hossain added.