Thursday, 7 July, 2022

Early mango harvest worries farmers

Early mango harvest worries farmers

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SATKHIRA: Immature mangoes flooded Satkhira wholesale markets as the growers harvested different varieties of the juicy fruit in advance fearing possible loss due to cyclone ‘Asani’.

According to the growers and businessmen, the mangoes of Satkhira have fame across the globe as businesses export mangoes from the district to many countries including those in Europe.

Usually, mangoes are ripe early in the district due to geographical position, weather and quality of the soil compared to other districts in the country. But, this year, growers have already harvested different varieties of mangoes including Himsagar, Langra, Gobinbdabhog, Gopalbhog and Bombay to save the mouth-watering fruit from cyclone Asani, they said, reports UNB.

Talking to the correspondent, mango farmer Abdur Razzak of Kukrali village in Sadar upazila said he has cultivated mangoes on 18 bighas of land but the production is less this year due to adverse weather.

“Many mango growers harvested immature mangoes knowing the Met office warning over cyclonic storm Asani. Now all mangoes available in the district markets are immature. As a result, the demand for the mangoes is less and growers are not getting the fair price of the mangoes,” he said.

Razzak said growers sold a maund (40kg) of mangoes at Tk 2,800 last year while same quantity of mangoes are being sold at maximum Tk 1,500-Tk 1,600 this year.

According to the Department of Agricultural Extension(DAE), growers of the district have cultivated mangoes on 4,115 hectares of land and the production target has been set around 50,000-60,000 tonns this year.

Meanwhile, the district administration earlier directed the growers to harvest Gobinbdabhog mango from May 5, Himsagar from May 16 and Langra from late May. But, growers have plucked a huge amount of Himsagar and Langra mangoes before the stipulated time.

Abdur Rahim Babu, general secretary of Sultanpur Boro Bazar Traders’ Association, said growers are bringing mangoes of different varieties to the wholesale market. However, mango production in the district is less than the previous year because of unfavourable weather, he added.

Customers alleged that growers have brought immature mangoes into the markets including Sultanpur Boro Bazar, the largest wholesale market in the district, after ripening those artificially with harmful chemicals. These mangoes are being sent to other parts of the country including capital Dhaka, they said.

Dr Kalyanshis, a medicine expert at Satkhira Medical College said, chemicals used to ripe mangoes, might cause acute renal failure, fatal systematic poisoning, pulmonary injuries, diarrhoea, permanent skin damage and lungs problem.

He also urged people to become aware before eating artificially ripe mangoes.

Deputy commissioner Mohammad Humayun Kabir said the administration is monitoring the mango market and the mobile courts are conducting drives regularly to stop the use of harmful chemicals on mangoes.

The mobile court has already destroyed a few varieties of mangoes seized from different shops at a wholesale fruit market in the town, he added.