Haribhanga mango growers in Rangpur are expecting a good yield of the delicious seasonal fruit this year, which is considered a revolutionary crop in changing the agriculture economy in the district over the last few years, said Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) officials.
Deputy Director of DAE in Rangpur Obaidur Rahman said the farmers have been leaning towards farming as it requires less investment and labour. Several mango orchards have been developed in different upazilas of the region over the past years as farming proved lucrative compared to other crops.
The number of orchards in the district has been increasing every year. People in the villages are seen cultivating the plant in their yards and abandoned spaces beside the gardens. Farming has strengthened the rural markets of the districts by creating huge job generations that add a new dimension to the regional economy, he added.
The farmers and traders are expecting to do business with the seasonal fruit worth around Tk 500 crore this year while they made around Tk 400 crore last year.
Being encouraged, the farmers planted Amropali and BARI -4 varieties of mango beside Haribhanga variety in the district, he also said.
According to the sources, the mango will hit the market at the end of June. The plantations of the variety have been increasing every year in the region as the farmers find it lucrative.
Orchards in the areas are filled with green mangoes. Growers have kept themselves busy for the final nursing of the plants.
The business of plastic, bamboo, wooden baskets, papers, rope and other materials for packaging mango has got momentum in the local hat bazaars and markets. The price of the materials has increased much compared to the past years. A plastic caret was sold at Tk 80-100 last year while it is being sold at Tk 125-150 this year, said, a trader, Abdul Alim at Central Bus terminal mango market of the city.
According to the DAE Rangpur, some 3,215 hectares of land in Rangpur, Kurigram, Gaibandha, Lalmonirhat and Nilphamari districts have been brought under the mango farming this year fixing the production target of 20- 22 tonnes per hectare including 1,905 hectares of lands in Rangpur alone while it was 1,865 hectares of land last year. Fruiting in the trees is relatively higher this year.
A good number of mango gardens flourished at Padagonj, Khoragas, Tekani, Zarullapur, and Lalpur Ghoragas Uttarpara and Mollatari under Mithapukur upazila and Gopalpur Kutubpur, Sardarpara, Mollahpara, Rostamabad, Lohanipara unions under Badargonj upazila of the district.
The government has set the date of mango plucking from orchards on June 15 every year as it usually becomes matured and ripens then. The season continues till July 15. He urged the farmers not to pluck the mango before the date to avoid possible damage and loss.
Khondoker Mesbahul Islam, the horticulture specialist of DAE Rangpur region, said there were around 4,000 thousand commercial mango orchards in the district. Farming has been expanding on a commercial basis every year as the variety has got huge demand and economic potential. The weather and soil of the region are suitable for cultivation. Around 30 thousand people in eight upazilas of the district are directly engaged in farming and trade.
The unemployed villagers including women get job opportunities earning Tk 500 daily and can support their families working in the orchards during the season.
Abdus Salam Sarker of Sardarpara village under Khoragas union of Mithapukur upazila has a mango orchard on 14 acres of land and become a role model for successful mango farmers in the district. Many of the farmers in the district have been inspired to see his success.
He said he started farming on an experimental basis after taking retirement from government service fifteen years back and became benefitted. He started farming on a commercial basis and planted the variety on eight acres of land in 2007. Later, he expanded farming on more lands for financial benefit finding its potential and financial gain.
Another farmer, Mostafizur Rahman at Moyenpur village of the upazila said, he developed a mango orchard on 4 acres of land. The farmers who have high lands in the area, at least have a small mango orchard. We are applying vitamin spray in the trees at the final stage. He hoped to get a high price for the product this year.
Marufa Begum of the village said she use to sort out the plucked mango for packaging in the orchard during the season. Many of the unemployed men and women of the village get jobs during the period. She earns at least Tk 500 daily.
Abdur Rahman, a mango grower and trader in the Padagonj area under Badargonj upazila said, farmers usually get a profit selling the mango as it is harvested late compared to other varieties of the country especially, fazli, lengra and khirshapat of Rajshahi. The farming requires one time investment, less labour and pesticide.
RDRS Bangladesh Senior Coordinator [Agriculture and Environment] Mamunur Rashid said the cultivation of Harivhanga mango is expanding on a commercial basis every year in the region as the variety has got huge demand in the national and global markets. The growers would get bumper output this year due to the favourable weather.
Deputy Commissioner, Dr Chitralekha Nazneen said, the administration will take all necessary measures to expedite the farming and business.