Mango growers of Rajshahi are now in deep trouble as they are not getting the due prices of the delicious summer fruit due to its overproduction and lack of an effective marketing system.
Many growers said the market showed a downward trend in demand one week before and one week after the Eid-ul-Fitr, forcing them to sell high-quality mangoes at Tk 900-1,200 per maund this time.
However, the prices now have marked a slight rise as the season is set to end.
During a visit to a number of local markets recently, it was found high-quality mangoes selling at only Tk 2,400-2,800 per maund because of its overflow.
On May 9 last, the district administration held a meeting with officials of the Department Agriculture Extension, mango growers and traders, deciding that mango plucking would begin on May 20.
The officials concerned also fixed June 1 for starting the plucking of ‘Khirsapat’ variety, while that of ‘Lakshmanbhog’, ‘Amrapali’ and ‘Fazli’ from June 16 and ‘Ashwina’ from July 1.
But, Rezaul Karim, a grower in Bagha, told UNB that the mangoes started ripening at a time due to a sudden rise in temperature, and they could not pluck those as per the schedule fixed by the administration.
He said buyers from across the country could not come to the local markets due to eid holidays and also because of low demand during the vacation, causing the summer fruit prices to fall sharply.
Rezaul also said every year he sells mangoes worth Tk 14-16 lakh. ‘But, this year, I’ve so far sold mangoes worth Tk 5 lakh only. This is a perishable item...you cannot keep it for much longer time for sale. So, you’ve to sell it off to avert greater losses. After all this, you cannot expect much profit as there’re production and plucking costs, too.’
Aminul, a mango trader at Saheb Bazar in the city, said ‘Lengra’ and ‘Himsagar’ verities were selling at Tk 2,400-2,800 recently, while ‘Fazli’ at Tk 2,000-2,200 and Amrupali at Tk 2,200-2,400 per maund.
DAE additional director Mustafizur Rahman said the mango trading saw a transaction of only Tk 6 crore a day this season.
Sources at Rajshahi Fruit Research said the summer fruit started seeing a fall in its price with the boost in its production.
They said mango farming has doubled in the last six years with a bigger output but the market has not expanded accordingly.
This year, they said, the district had a mango production of 2,08,664 tonnes, the highest in its history.
Abdul Alim, the principal scientific officer at Rajshahi Fruit Research Station, said some 15.58 tonnes of mangoes were produced on one hectare of land on average in the district this year.
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