RAJSHAHI: Farmers and traders are seen moving towards transporting mango by train as they are getting more benefits from it compared to other modes of transport.
The amount of mango transporting through ‘Special Mango Train’ has been increasing gradually while farmers and traders are sending mangoes to Dhaka by this train with less cost, reports BSS.The West Zone of Bangladesh Railway has launched a ‘Special Mango Train’ on Chapainawabganj-Dhaka route via Rajshahi on May 27 last for the second consecutive time.
Nasir Uddin, divisional commercial manager of the zone, said the initiative has been taken to transport mangoes to Dhaka from this mango producing areas at a lower cost for welfare of the mango traders and farmers amid the Covid-19 pandemic situation.
“We’ve transported 3,77,820 kilograms (KGs) of mangoes by the special train to Dhaka in the last nine days,” he said, adding that they got Taka 4,58,251 as fare.
The cargo train is carrying a maximum 150 tons of mangoes in five wagons every day. It costs Taka 1.17 to carry a kilogram of mango to Dhaka from Rajshahi and the same is Taka 1.30 from Chapainawabganj to Dhaka. So, farmers and traders can transport as much goods as they want.
Trader Rajib Hassan said the train fare is less than the courier as its costs Taka 1.30 per kilogram whereas the private sector courier cost is Taka 12. Moreover, mangoes are not damaged while transporting on the train, he added.
Commercial Manager Nasir Uddin said that transport of mangoes in the special train cost Taka 1,117 per ton whereas courier services cost Taka 20,000 per ton and private trucks cost around Taka 2,000 per ton.The train makes halt for loading mangoes at 14 stations on the Chapainawabganj-Dhaka railway route via Rajshahi. The parcel train may have stoppages at other stations based on parcel booking and unloading.
In addition to mango, there is provision of carrying all kinds of vegetables, seasonal fruits, eggs and other agricultural products at cheaper rates in the special train, he added.
The railway porters conduct all sorts of the loading and unloading works of the goods. To this end, they were imparted need-based training on how to handle the goods from booking to loading as well to unloading properly.
Last year, the Mango Special Train was launched for the first time in the wake of growers’ transportation problems amid the Covid-19 pandemic. “We’ve earned Taka 9.30 lakh revenue by transporting 857 tonnes of mango, lychee and other agricultural goods,” Nasir Uddin added.
“We’re very much happy and satisfied after availing the scope of transporting mango to Dhaka through special parcel train for the second time in the region,” said Anwarul Haque, president of Rajshahi Agro Food Producer Society, adding that over 150 growers and traders are availing the opportunity at present.
Anwar Haque, who has mango orchards on around 50 bighas of land, terms the mango transportation through the cargo train as smooth, quickly, no trouble and wastage problem.
“I’m very much optimistic about raising the number of service-recipients of the cargo train in the years to come,” he added.
Officials said mango was cultivated on 26,150 hectares of areas in Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj districts where it’s expected to yield 2,44,000 tonnes of mangoes this year.
Mango groves were also nurtured on 12,671 hectares of land in Naogaon district where the target was fixed to produce 1,61,242 tonnes of mangoes while it is expected to produce 56,021 tonnes of mangoes on 4,823 hectares of land in Natore district.