Prospect of exporting mango from Rajshahi region bright

Online Desk

12 Oct 2022 11:25 AM

Prospect of exporting mangoes from Rajshahi region is very bright as both acreage and yearly yield of the delicious fruit has been rising gradually for the last couple of years in the region.

Triple-cropping paddy fields are gradually being converted into mango orchards commercially because the seasonal fruit is being adjudged as more profitable compared to the grain crops at present, reports BSS.

Shamsul Wadud, Additional Director of Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), said mango orchards have doubled in the region with a gap of only a decade.

Around 9.60 lakh tonnes of mango valued at around Taka 800 crore were produced from 90,894 hectares of land in the four districts this year.

The farmers are being imparted training on production, harvest and post-harvest management of the exportable mangoes so that they can export qualitative and standard fruit.

Shafiqul Islam, a contract grower, said there are enormous demands of Rajshahi mangoes in European markets but they are not being successful to meet the demand due to lack of processing facilities.

"We have to pass a long process to export mango from Rajshahi through Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka," he said, adding that many of the exporters become frustrated when they fail to compete in the international markets due to various problems.

He said they produce mango through contract farming with 20 farmers in Bagha upazila. This mango is produced for export to the European market. Mango export is almost double profitable than that of selling in local markets. But additional cost and care is needed for preparing the exportable mango as it requires use of modern technologies. 

"If we get requisite facilities in the fields of export, the volume of mango export will be boosted up to a greater extent," he added. There is no packaging house in Rajshahi for mango exports and so the mango will go to a packaging house in Dhaka, he said.

Hot water treatment is an important issue for mango export to protect mangoes from insects.

"If we can take more care in mango preservation and marketing, Bangladesh will be able to go ahead more in mango export," he added.

Islam, who is exporting mango to different European markets since 2015, said many of their problems related to export mango will be resolved if cargo services is launched at Rajshahi Airport.

He opined that Rajshahi's mango needs to be export-oriented at present otherwise the sector may face a debacle situation.

Apart from this, agri-business will expand through processing and new entrepreneurial classes will be created. To this end, side by side with government patronage, the owners of private processing factories have to come forward.

Modern quality pack-house has to be established in the mango-growing areas. It will be beneficial to build a small or medium sized processing plant.

Dr Shafiqul Islam, Principal Scientific Officer of Fruit Research Station, said Fazli mango of Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj and Khirshapat of Chapainawabganj have attained GI certification accreditation. So, the two varieties of mango will get special privileges in terms of export if those were produced through using best practices.

Best practices of growing, harvesting and marketing of mangoes are being maintained strictly for ensuring the delicious fruit is safe to the consumers. 

Dr Islam said the emphasis is being given on the development of packaging system for increasing the export of mangoes to other countries. All concerned including agricultural officials and researchers, farmers and businessmen are working together.

Professor Iliash Hossain of the Department of Economics in Rajshahi University said the annual export earnings could have been more if the existing problems related to mango export were solved.

Time-fitting steps should be taken to solve the problems on priority basis so that the region can enhance its contribution to the national export through enriching its export list.

Samakal English

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