Mango growers in Chapainawabganj, known as the mango capital of the country , are passing their days in great worries as the marketing of their produce has become uncertain amid the restrictions imposed to slow down coronavirus transmissions.
Local farmers said if the situation does not improve they will have to count huge financial losses in this season.
Mango is the main cash crop of Chapainawabganj. Hundreds of delicious varieties of mangoes, including Gopalbhog, Khirsapat, Langra and Fazli are produced in the district.
Mangoes produced here are supplied to different parts of the country alongside meeting the local demand and are also exported to other countries. Mango harvesting will start in mid-May.
This time, there is no smile on the faces of mango growers and traders in the region because of the corona situation, said mango growers.
They said this season the yield is not as good as previous years. In the beginning of the season, there were huge buds in mango orchards, but later that declined due to unfavourable weather, the added.
According to growers, they could not take proper care of their gardens due to the coronavirus situation and now they are worried about the marketing of the seasonal fruit amid suspension of transport and restrictions on free movement of people.
“Normally, seasonal fruit traders come to buy mango orchards . But this time, there is no orchard buyer due to the corona restrictions. In such a condition, we're fearing of huge losses,” said Ohid Ali, a mango grower of the district.
Another mango grower, Abdur Rakib, of Arambagh area, said, “The quantity of mangoes this year is much poor than the last year's. No wholesale trader visited our orchards. If they don’t come, how we'll sell our mangoes!”
According to the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), this year mangoes were cultivated on 33,035 hectares of land in the district with a target of producing 2.50 lakh metric tonnes.
Nazrul Islam, Deputy Director of the DAE, said mango growers are now passing days amid serious anxieties due to the coronavirus restrictions.
“Anyway, there's no reason to worry about. Initiatives will be taken from the administration so that mango-laden trucks could move to different areas across the country,” he said.
Nazrul Islam said it will take 20-25 days for the mangoes to hit the market. And by then, Ramadan will be over. "After the Ramadan, there'll be no problem in marketing mangoes with the improvement in the corona situation," he hoped.