Mango business gains momentum in Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj
DOT Desk:  Mango trading has gained peak with exorbitant price in different markets of Rajshahi, Chapainawabgonj and Naogaon districts with appearance of several varieties of the seasonal fruit despite the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, reports BSS News.  The markets famous for mango business including Baneswar, Shaheb Bazar, Haragram, Upashahar, Shalbagan, Rajabari, Godagari, Kansat and Rohanpur have got an eye-catching look amidst bumper production.  Montu Sarker, lease-holder of Baneswar Bazar, said farmers and traders have started harvesting mango after getting instruction from the district administration this year. That’s why mangoes are appearing in the big market for over the last one and half months as Gopalbhog, Himsagar, Langra, Lakhna, Fazly and some other indigenous varieties have ripened naturally.  Forman Ali, a wholesale trader said Langra and Himsagar mangoes are being sold at Taka 3,500 to 4,000 per mound according to quality while the native varieties are sold at Taka 1,500 to 2,000.
In addition to the market, hat and other growth centres, the mango-based trade and business has changed the rural economic scenario of the region as a whole.
“We are selling 30 mounds of mangoes at Taka 3,000 to 3,500 per mound on an average every day,” said Jamal Uddin, a mango trader of Shaheb Bazar. Besides, large quantities of mangoes are being sent to other places in the country including capital Dhaka from Rajshahi, Naogaon and Chapainawabganj by passenger-coaches, trains, trucks and private vehicles every day.
Meanwhile, trading of mango through online has gained a peak everywhere in the region benefitting both the sellers and buyers.
Business on online platforms has gained popularity to reach the mangoes towards doorsteps of the buyers amid the pandemic situation. Many of the young entrepreneurs in the region are selling mango through online after the best uses of facebook and WhatsApp like various social media. With this, employment scopes for many people have been generated on one hand and the mango growers are getting fair prices on the other hand. Apart from this, the consumers are getting formalin-free and fresh mango according to their demands timely.
For the first time, the West Zone of Bangladesh Railway has launched a special parcel train on Chapainawabgonj-Dhaka route via Rajshahi for transporting mangoes to Dhaka at a lower cost for welfare of the mango traders and farmers amid the Covid-19 pandemic situation.
The cargo train is carrying a maximum 225 tonnes of mangoes in six wagons every day. So, farmers and traders can transport goods at their will. It costs Tk 1.17 to carry a kilogram of mango to Dhaka from Rajshahi. And it is Tk 1.30 from Chapainawabganj to Dhaka.
The post and telecommunication ministry has also arranged a truck of the postal department to transport mangoes to Dhaka free of cost.
Bangladesh Postal Department under its ‘farmers-friendly postal services’ programme transports the mangoes of marginal and small farmers and traders.
Sudhendra Nath Roy, additional director of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), said there are more than 2.60 lakh mango growers and orchard owners in the region comprising Rajshahi, Chapainawabgonj, Natore and Naogaon districts.
Around 1.30 lakh people are engaged in various activities related to mango harvesting, segregating, packaging, transporting and marketing.
He added that the DAE has set a target of harvesting around ten lakh tonnes of mangoes from 80,360 hectares of land in the region this season while last year’s production was 8,31,940 tonnes from 72,909 hectares of land.