A drought without incessant rains or severe storms has been a positive for four mango-producing districts in Bangladesh’ Rajshahi division, but the region’s farmers are yet to see good fortune.
Mango trees on 83,673 hectares of land in Natore, Naogaon, Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj are expected to yield 852,000 tons of mangoes this year. According to Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) officials, last year, the region’s mango production was 776,000 tons after fruit loss during storms.
If no major calamities occur till mid-July, the region’s mango production is likely to increase by nearly 100,000 tons this year, said Sirajul Islam, additional director of DAE. “The drought has helped the mangoes this season,” said Dr Alim Uddin, principal scientific officer of the Fruit Research Centre in Rajshahi.
But the region’s farmers, who grow around 40 percent of the country’s mangoes, are being deprived of fair prices due to the lack of buyers due to the Covid situation. Also, growers are complaining that local traders are manipulating the markets, taking advantage of the pandemic.
As no buyers from outside the districts are visiting the region, farmers are being forced to sell off their mangoes only to local traders who are buying from their orchards.