Even though there have been a drought and heat waves, the country’s mango production is set to make a new record in FY2022-23 and return to its previous route, according to top officials of the Horticulture Wing of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE).
Bringing more lands into commercial horticulture style cultivations, especially in mango production, the entrance of more farmers in the cultivation, and adaptation of new methods and technologies are contributing to the significant increase in production, they said.
Horticulture Wing Director (In-Charge) and agronomist KJM Abdul Awal said that due to natural calamities, mango production had dropped last fiscal year. But learning from that, the wing’s officials coordinated with other agricultural officers from different DAE wings and took the required steps.
“Based on the market scenarios and our calculation, there would be a record production of nearly 25.5 lakh metric tonnes of mangoes this year, up from 23.5 lakh tonnes in FY2021-22,” he added.
According to the Horticulture Wing, the country previously saw the highest mango production in FY2020-21 with 25,00,570 metric tonnes on 1,98,578 hectares of land. In FY22, the production was 23,50,499 tonnes on 2,02,968 hectares of land.
Horticulture Development Officer and agronomist ABM Shah Emran told The Business Post that more people are getting interested in adopting commercial horticulture which is facilitating the land to be even larger over the years.
He said that in FY2010-11, some 105 lakh metric tonnes of horticulture fruits were produced on 6.3 lakh hectares of land. In FY22, the country produced more than 143 lakh metric tonnes of fruits in total on 7.34 lakh hectares of land across the country.
The situation is similar in mango production as well. The land coverage for mango cultivation went up to 2,02,968 hectares in FY22 from 1,67,760 hectares in FY2015-16, he added.
The regular and new farmers both are viewing the cultivation from commercial means and are now aware of the possible pros and cons. So, they are redirecting their activities accordingly. And so, despite experiencing drought and heat waves this year, they are collecting more fruits, which means success this year, Emran added.
A change in theme
Horticulture Wing officials said that previously, the theme for mango cultivation was the maximum use of land but that has now turned into the maximum use of sunlight. In general, it was said that a mango tree gives good production every two years but with newer technologies, the country is now seeing better production.
The time has changed and farmers are adopting new methods of farming like the high-density planting method for mango cultivation in orchards. A single tree may produce fewer mangos in this method but cumulatively the orchard will have a larger mango production.
Again, the farmers used fertiliser before the day the buds came and also adopted technologies to ensure lesser damage to the buds. They are also spreading pesticides using hand pumps so that no worm can attack.
Abdus Sobhan, a farmer in Naogaon’s Sapahar area, told The Business Post that he and some of his fellow farmers who cultivated rice earlier started mango cultivation a few years ago.
“We were just surviving by cultivating rice. But now we are making five to six times profit compared to what we used to make before and living a comparatively better life with our families,” he said.
Awal said that people now have an adequate supply of seedlings of several mango varieties in their hands and they can learn from 77 horticulture nurseries and centres of the wing. “So, people are adopting modern mango cultivation approach.
“The biggest changes can be found in the Naogaon region, where people are leaving rice cultivation and more and more lands are coming under horticulture [mango]. This is ensuring more money for them across the year,” he added.