Prospect of exporting Tk 200cr mango from Rajshahi region


Business Desk :
There are bright prospects of exporting mangoes worth around Taka 200 crore from the region, including its vast Barind tract, during the current season as both acreage and yearly yield of the delicious fruit have been rising gradually for the last couple of years.
Shamsul Wadud, Additional Director of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), said mango orchards have doubled in the region with a gap of only a decade.
Around 9.70 lakh tonnes of mango valued at around Taka 850 crore are expected to be produced from 91,850 hectares of land in the region consisting of Rajshahi, Naogaon, Chapainawabganj and Natore districts this year.
Triple-cropping paddy fields are gradually being converted into mango orchards commercially because the seasonal fruit is being adjudged as more profitable compared to the grain crops at present.
The farmers are being imparted training on production, harvest, and post- harvest management of the exportable mangoes so that they can export qualitative and standard fruit.
Naogaon has joined the ranks of Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj as a major export hub for mangoes with locally grown varieties of the fruit now making their way abroad after satisfying domestic demand.
As such, mango growers and exporters in the district are eyeing bigger shipments this year compared to the previous year.
Sohel Rana, owner of the Rupgram Agro Farm in Sapahar upazila of the district, cultivated mangoes on around 150 bighas of land, including the Amrupali and Langra varieties.
Rana, who also provides agro-tourism services at his farm, said he used fruit bags on the mangoes grown on about 50 bighas of land in order to ensure higher quality for export.
The special method of growing mangoes inside multi-layered bags with wax on the outer surface protects the fruit from pests, rain and even hailstorms with their ability to withstand wind speeds of up to 65 kilometres per hour before being blown away.
“I had shipped five tonnes of mangoes last year through various exporters, including North Bengal Agro,” he said. Rana had exported a total of eight tonnes of mangoes to England, the Netherlands and Sweden in 2022. “We need to use the bagging method to grow export quality mangoes but the process is expensive as it costs Tk 30,000 per bigha, which is almost double the normal production cost,” he added.
Rana went on to say the import duty on fruit bags is more than 50 per cent.
“But farmers would be more interested in using the method to produce quality fruits without using pesticides if the government reduced this charge,” he said.
Farmers in Naogaon typically export mangoes through exporters as they lack the financial capacity, expertise and facilities to make direct shipments.
However, this means that exporters enjoy the 25 per cent government incentive on outgoing shipments rather than the farmers.
Shafiqul Islam, a contract grower, said there are enormous demands of Rajshahi mangoes in European and Middle East markets but they are not being successful to meet the demand due to a lack of processing facilities. “We have to pass a long process to export mango from Rajshahi through Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka,” he said, adding that many of the exporters become frustrated when they fail to compete in the international markets due to various problems.
He said they produce mango through contract farming with 20 farmers in Bagha Upazila. This mango is produced for export to the European market. Mango export is almost double profitable as that of selling in local markets.