POST TIME: 12 July, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Mango growers deprived of fair price in Sakhipur
Our Correspondent, Tangail

Mango growers deprived of fair price in Sakhipur

This recent photo shows a grower inspecting mangoes at an orchard in Sakhipur upazila of Tangail. Independent photo

Mango growers of Sakhipur Upazila, in Tangail district, are being denied a fair price for their produce during the current harvesting season.

 Bumper mango production was possible this year because of fair weather natural hazards such as storms being absent. But the growers are incurring huge losses as fruits are being sold at throw-away prices. Growers blame lack of specialized cold storage and marketing for the low mango prices.

 A source in the Department of Agriculture Extension said that the soil of Sakhipur was suitable for mango farming. The DAE formed demonstration plots in 2000. Twenty mango farmers were given 100 Amprali saplings each. The farmers began to harvest mangoes after three years. They felt encouraged as they harvested a good yield.

 Commercial farming began on individual efforts. The number of farmers began to grow yearly. At present, 550 mango farmers have been farming on commercial plots, covering an area of 300 hectares. Beside these, many small orchards have been developed in each homestead, say DAE sources. DAE had fixed a target of 85 thousand metric tonnes of mango production, worth about Tk a 68 crore, this year.

 About 36 varieties of mangoes like BARI- 4, Amropalli, Mollika, Palmer, Pallutan, Mohananda, Gopalvog, Fajli, Langra, Lawkhanvog are being grown in the Upazila. BARRI-4 is the most popular variety of all.

 Faizul Islam Bhuyan Upazila Agriculture Officer of Sakhipur said that the farmers had been trained in mango farming. Upazila Agriculture Officer of Sakhipur Faizul Islam Bhuyan said that after banana and orange came mango farming in Sakhipur Upazila. Many farmers switched to growing Amrapali in Sakhipur Upazila.

The farmers grow mangoes without using preservatives, formalin, carbide or insecticides.

 Locally the Amropali of Sakhipur is called ‘sakhiaam’. Mangoes of Sakhipur are sweet, juicy, succulent and appetizing as the soil has the qualities of that of the Rajshahi zone.

 Consumer Aman Ali agreed about the sweetness of the mangoes of Sakhipur. An Association styled ‘Sakhipur Mango Growers Association’ has also been formed to increase farmers’ facilities. Zulfiker Haider Kamal Lebu has been elected the president of the association.

 Zulfiker Haider Kamal Lebu, a successful mango farmer, changed his lot by farming mango. He planted 1,000 Amprali saplings 5-6 years ago. He began harvesting yields three years back. He said he sold mangoes worth Tk 20 lakh last year.

 Deluwar Hossain, a noted mango farmer, got the National Award for mango cultivation in 2007. He said that he expected to sell mangoes to the tune of Tk 20-25 lakh this year. But his hopes have been shattered as prices have slumped.

 Owing to lack of preservation and specialized cold storage, the farmers are being deprived a fair price, growers claimed.