Mango trading has gained momentum in different markets of Rajshahi, Chapainawa-bganj and Naogaon districts with the appearance of varieties of the seasonal fruit despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.Many of the small-businessmen are seen selling mango on roadsides or vending at localities on rickshaw-vans and modes of carriers. 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 mangoes after getting instruction from the district administration this year. That's why mangoes are appearing in the markets as Gopalbhog, Himsagar and Langra, Lakhna and some other indigenous varieties have ripened naturally.
Abu Forman Ali, 53, 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 mangoes 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 the doorsteps of the buyers amid the pandemic situation. Many of the young entrepreneurs in the region are selling mangoes online after the best uses of facebook and WhatsApp like various social media.
With this breakthrough, 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 second consecutive time, the West Zone of Bangladesh Railway has been operating a special parcel train on Chapainawabgonj-Dhaka route via Rajshahi since May 27 last 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 150 tonnes of mangoes in five 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. Sirajul Islam, 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.
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