Farmers are tending to their blooming mango trees ahead of the season for a greater yield this year in the region, which is famous for supplying the seasonal delicious fruit nationwide
Even though the mercury level is still not indicating the end of winter in Rajshahi, mango trees have started flowering in the region, prompting farmers and orchard owners to start tending to the newly bloomed buds.
Although farmers are not worried about the prevailing low temperatures, they fear that the regular thick fog may damage the early mango buds.
But according to the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) in Rajshahi, there is no reason for farmers to worry as the fruits in the region have not yet fully blossomed and will still take a week or more to fully reach that stage.
According to the Rajshahi DAE, mangoes are cultivated on 17,800 hectares of land in the district, and of that, 70% are cultivated in Bagha and Charghat upazilas alone.
Early buds have appeared on mango trees in Budhpara, Meherchandi, Pobar Harian, Baya, Naohata, Kukhundi, Katakhali and Shampur areas of Rajshahi.
Mango farmer Aber Ali has 27 mango trees in his orchard. “Out of my 27 mango trees, buds have started to appear on 17 or 18 trees. All the trees are being sprayed with pesticides. The rest of the trees are likely to flower soon.”
Shafiqul Islam Mukut of Bagha upazila said some of his mango trees has started flowering and therefore he needs to take extra care of them now. “I regularly clear out the weeds and spray the trees with pesticides. Without any infestations, healthy buds will appear and result in an improved yield.”
According to the Puthiya Upazila Agriculture Office, there are 5,550 small and large mango orchards on about 1,535 hectares in the upazila.
More than 15 varieties of mangoes, including Fazli, Lakhna, Gopalbhog, Ashwina, Himsagar and Dudhsar are cultivated in Puthiya.
Aminul Islam, a mango farmer in Puthiya’s Baneshwar, said he had started taking care of the orchard ahead of the season in the hope of making more profit. “Now I am spraying my mango trees with sulphur and imidacloprid, among a few other pesticides. This increases the chances of more healthy buds on the tree. And if the weather is favourable, there will be a good yield.”
Puthiya Upazila Agriculture Officer Shamsunnahar Bhuiyan said: “Weather permitting, this year the region will see a bumper mango production. Farmers are being instructed accordingly and they have started tending to their gardens ahead of the season for higher yields.”
Shamsul Haque, deputy director, Rajshahi DAE, said: “Some farmers are being advised to use selective pesticides to care for the mango buds. However, there is no need to use pesticides or growth hormones if there are no infestations in the trees and the growth of the trees is normal.”