Mango growers predict huge loss
Strong wind and heavy rainfall caused by the Cyclone Amphan on Thursday wreaked a havoc on mango orchards in Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj, incurring huge loss to the farmers and businessmen.
According to the Rajshahi Department of Agricultural Extension(DAE) mango was cultivated on 17,573 hectares of areas with a target of 210,000 tons of mangoes this year. Around 12 to 15 percent mangoes fell from the trees due to the overnight gusty wind which might cause loss around Tk10 crore.
Ariful Islam, mango grower in Gochar village of Bagha upazila said half of the mangoes in his orchard got knocked off due to the storm." I am now forced to store the immature mangoes in my house as no one wants to buy the green mangoes which will eventually rot."
Another mango grower, Zillur Rahman said: " I have nurtured mangoes on 100 bighas of land. But the cyclone caused a loss to mango farmers and orchard owners."
Farmers said they were already worrying over the sale of mango due to the transport crisis and customers shortage caused by coronavirus pandemic. Now, the cyclone is another nail in the coffin of mango business.
Shamsul Haque, deputy director of Rajshahi Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) said the storm could not uproot the trees, but damaged the mangoes immensely which were supposed to be harvested within few days.
If we supposedly rate per kg mango at Tk 40, the loss will be around 10 crore, said Shamsul Haque.
Authorities are trying to recover the loss of farmers by selling the green mangoes in good price, he added.
"The other crops were not damaged in the district to such extent as the most of the paddy were already ripe. Farmers will easily harvest the produce."
The storm with 59kmph speed swept over Rajshahi district around 3am yesterday,said Lotifa Helen, an official of Rajshahi Met office. " We recorded 81 mm rainfall in the last 24 hours.
Meanwhile, around 5 to 6 percent mangoes fell from the trees due to heavy wind and rainfall, causing loss to the mango growers in different upazilas of Chapainwabgnaj.
According to the Department of Agricultural Extension(DAE) around 33,035 hectares of land were used for cultivating mango in the district with a target of 239,000 tons of mango.
DAE Deputy Director Md Nazrul Islam said mangoes worth over Tk 2 crore were damaged due to the Cyclone Amphan.