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24 May, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Rajshahi may miss mango export target

TAREQUE MORETAZA
Rajshahi may miss mango export target

Mango traders of Rajshahi is likely to miss its export target of 100 tonnes of mango as a large quantity has been wasted during the storing time, according to traders and others in the business.

An export target of 100 tonnes of mango has been set this year. But only 40 per cent of this target is expected to be fulfilled. This under-achievement can be attributed to the wastage of at least 100 kg of mango at the time of sorting, says the District Agricultural Department (DAE), Rajshahi.

Even with the bagging process last year, only 15–20 tonnes of mango were exported instead of the targeted 70 tonnes.

Farmers blame export mismanagement for this shortfall. They say they are feeling hard done by.

Anwarul Hoque, convenor of the Rajshahi Agro Food Producers' Society, said: “We've been producing organic mango, but the government isn't noticing it. The farmers are dispirited now.”

There has been a general concern that the disregard for organic mango, a trend that evolved last year, will continue in terms of export selection this year, he added.

2016, only about thirty tonnes of organic mango were selected for export out of the total export of 324 tonnes of the savoury fruit.

The gross disregard cost the organic producers about Tk 50 crore, even though they had substantially increased their production in the hope of exporting 5,000 tonnes of mango following a moderate success the year before the last.

In 2016, 90 per cent of the 665 tonnes of exported mango were from the Rajshahi region.

Deb Dulal Dhali, deputy Ddrector of the DAE, Rajshahi, said that 50 tonnes of organic mango were supposed to be exported last year. But, in reality, only 15–20 tonnes were exported, he added.

Explaining, Dhali said that the mango production had not been found suitable for foreign buyers.

In order to export mango, the seller has to fulfil 26 conditions. Bagging is just one of them. Soil of the mango grove and irrigation water must be tested to keep the fruits free of chemical contaminants. Besides, the 'hot water treatment' must be applied before bagging is done with gloved hands, the DAE official said.

"Mango production becomes difficult with these conditions. Only 14 mango-growers of Bagha upazila signed the deal with exporters. They agreed to produce the fruit after accepting all those conditions," he added.

The district administration has made it mandatory that the Gopalbhogh variety of mango cannot be plucked from trees before May 20; Himsagor, Khirshapat and Lakhanbogh not before June 1; Langra not before June 6; Amrapali and Fazli not before June 16; and Ashina not before July 1.

Dhali said the different varities of mango were produced by adopting the fruit-bagging technology.

Last year, 30 tonnes of mango, produced by this method, were exported to different European markets. The success was achieved by dint of promoting hygienic practices and modern technologies in some mango orchards in the district. This yielded over 50 tonnes of exportable mango.

Dhali said mango farming with the fruit-bagging method was gradually becoming popular in Rajshahi over the past couple of years. This method of cultivation eliminates the need for pesticide use and so the fruits remain poison-free.

The use of this technique in mango farming began experimentally following the import of a special type of bag from China in 2015. The fruit bag can be used to cover the mangoes when the fruits are 40–45 days old. They prevent insects and other pests from harming the fruit, thus obviating the need to spray pesticides or insecticides.

According to the Rajshahi zonal office of the DAE, there are 26,150 hectares of planting land in Chapainawabganj district. The target for getting mango from that district has been estimated at 244,000 metric tonnes. In Naogaon, 161,242 metric tonnes of mango have been targeted  from 12,671 hectares. In Natore, 56021 metric tonnes of mango have been targeted from 4,823 hectares.

The DAE, Rajshahi, says that last year, mango orchards were spread over 16,961 hectares and the figure rose to 17,463 hectares this year. There are 2,426,189 mango trees in the orchards.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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