Bangladesh is a potential mango exporter
Mango fruit has high economic importance and is popular among consumers for its good taste and variety. This fruit is rich in vitamin 'A' and 'C' nutrients. The wood of the mango tree is used for making house windows and for religious purposes. According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), 12 lakh 22 thousand tons of mangoes were produced in the country in the fiscal year 2019-20. There are sugarcane plantations in 2 lakh 35 thousand acres of land in the country. Each tree produces an average of 77 kg of mangoes.
310 tons in 2018-19, 283 tons in 2019-20, 1632 tons in 2020-21, 1757 tons in 2021-22 financial year from Bangladesh. Tons of mangoes have been exported. While Bangladesh ranks 7th in mango production, Bangladesh is not among the top exporters.
There is a possibility of exporting about lakhs of tons of mangoes from Bangladesh. However, according to the Department of Agriculture Extension, the production of mangoes in the country is about 24 lakh tones. Every year there is a mango trade worth around 14 thousand core rupees. This huge market has been developed from mango production to marketing, packaging and transportation.
Every year in April this trade starts from the arrival of raw mangoes in the market. Until the end of Ashwina mango marketing in September. Mehdi Masud, director of the project titled Nutrition development through year-round fruit production of the Department of Agriculture Extension, told Prothom Alo that mango production is increasing at the highest rate every year in the country. As a result, an opportunity to export mangoes has been created to meet the needs of the country.
Among the areas where mangoes are grown in Bangladesh, Satkhira, Naogaon, Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj, Meherpur and three hill districts are notable. Under the DAE exportable mango production project of the Department of Agriculture Extension this year, temporary incentives have been provided to entrepreneurs for mango production targeting the export market in the country. The project initially targeted 930 entrepreneurs but this number will be increased to 8400 in the next four years, he said. Concerned authorities.
The farmers concerned are producing mangoes under special management because these mangoes will go abroad. The farmers who have already been appointed have received various agricultural materials including pesticides, fertilizers, fruit bags (fruit bags) and received special training. Because export mangoes require special care.
Enemies of mangoes are flies. To prevent this pest, the fruit should be bagged when the mangoes are 45 to 50 days old. Also, after a certain period of application of insecticides, mangoes have to be harvested. It should be noted here that mangoes from 930 plantations will not be exported. Outside of these designated farmers, mangoes are exported with various concerns, following standards.
Local agronomists think that Bangladeshi mangoes are of good quality in terms of taste, smell and nutritional quality, so there is a demand for Bangladeshi mangoes in different countries. There is a big market of one crore Bangladeshis in foreign countries, but the amount of mangoes exported from Bangladesh is very small. The largest export of mangoes in the last financial year was to the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Qatar, Kuwait.
The World Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) review report on the fruit market said that India and Pakistan are among the largest exporters of mangoes. Mexico has exported the most 4 lakh 68 thousand tons. Thailand has exported about three hundred and forty thousand tons of mangoes. Bangladesh Agricultural Extension Department's exportable mango production project director said that this year, the target is to export more than 4000 metric tons of mangoes than last year. For this, necessary training and support has been provided to the farmers.
Some of the obstacles identified by the Department of Agriculture Extension in the country's mango export are; Standard safe mangoes are not produced. The conditions given by importers regarding post-harvest management of mangoes are not fulfilled. Lack of coordination of farmers, extension officers, researchers and exporters in mango production and marketing system. After harvesting, sort or grade the mangoes to maintain the quality of the mangoes, not transport them in cooling vans
. According to mango producers and exporters, they have to depend on Dhaka's Shyampur for packaging for export to Bangladesh. There are packaging arrangements for export under DA. Its name is Central Packing House. These packing houses are very far from the mango producing districts.
Therefore, mango farmers of different upazilas or districts think that it is not possible to maintain the quality by bringing mangoes from such a distance. Local mango farmers also feel that it is very important to build a packing house in the major mango producing districts. Long lines and high air fares to get useful plant protection or phytosanitary certificates for sending mangoes abroad, which are much more expensive in our country than air fares in competing countries India, Pakistan or Thailand.
Bagging of tree mangoes has been recognized at the field level as a simple and cost-effective technology for producing safe, toxic-free and exportable mangoes. Ultimately, it is everyone's hope that the production of safe, toxic-free and healthy mangoes will increase.
Author, Lead-Agriculturist, Dhaka.