RAJSHAHI: 'Catimon', a mango variety of Thailand, is now giving mangoes round the year in Rajshahi and it has been supposed that farming of this variety mango would be increased and people could enjoy this delicious fruit round the year.
Mango is a seasonal fruit in Bangladesh and its harvesting season continues from May to mid August every year. But, this new variety breaks the traditional farming calendar.
Rafiqul Islam, a farmer of Durgapur upazila in the district, 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 year.
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.
Giving a salient feature of the variety he also said this mango isn't the seasonal variety of mango but it's testy and sweet and market demand is also high compared to other varieties.
Normally, mango harvesting and marketing took place from mid May to hardly mid August in the region from immemorial time.
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.
Like Hefez Uddin, many other farmers have attained economic emancipation after adopting the UHDMP method that has brought a remarkable change in the area for the last couple of years.