85% of people in Rajshahi and Chapainawabgonj districts are directly or indirectly dependent on mango
Mango plays a vital role in improving living conditions and livelihoods of people in Rajshahi and Chapainawabgonj districts.
Terming the seasonal fruit as an important cash crop, scientists, researchers, and others concerned viewed that 85% of people in these two districts are directly or indirectly dependent on mango.
They made this observation while addressing a meeting on mango and its economic prospects at the conference hall of Rajshahi Chamber of Commerce and Industries in the city on Saturday.
Deputy Commissioner SM Abdul Kader addressed the meeting as chief guest while Superintendent of Police Md Shahidullah, Additional District Magistrate Subrata Paul and Additional Deputy Commissioners Md Shalahuddin and Nasima Khatun spoke as special guests.
Deputy Director of Department of Agriculture Extension Monjurul Huda, Senior Scientific Officer of Regional Mango Research Centre Dr Saraf Uddin, and mango farmer and businessman Ismail Khan Shamim shared their expertise on the issue.
Abdul Kader urged the farmers and others concerned to harvest export quality mango in the region to earn more foreign currency.
He said: “Need-based measures were taken to bring all the mango farmers under training for promotion of modern technologies. This will help make the mango harvesting and marketing process safe and hygienic, which in turn will boost its export.”
Agriculturist Monjurul Huda mentioned that modern technologies are being promoted commercially in mango orchards in Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj districts during the present pre-harvest season to protect mangoes from pest attack, enabling the farmers to get better yield.
Mango is a leading seasonal cash crop of the country’s northwest region and dominates the economy in the two districts famous for the delicious fruit.
He said: “There are about 30 lakh mango trees of different ages and varieties on some 81,861 acres of land in the region.”
If modern technologies are promoted substantially, the use of chemical insecticides and pesticides could be reduced to a greater extent. The modern method will open up a new door for exporting mangoes of the two districts to various foreign markets.
Dr Saraf Uddin said: “For the last couple of years, mangoes of the region are being exported to some foreign countries and it is expected that the export volume will increase this year.”
He said: “Mangoes are being produced through adopting fruit bagging technology. Last year, 30 tons of mangoes produced through fruit bagging technology were exported to different European markets.
“The success has been achieved by commercially using modern technologies in some mango orchards in the two districts for the last couple of years, yielding more than 50 tons of exportable, safe, and disease-free mangos.”
Dr Saraf said mango farming by fruit-bagging method has been gradually rising. If the mangoes are cultivated through this method, there is no need of pesticide use.