Per kg of dropped mango being sold at 50 Paisa in Rajshahi
Mango farmers in the two famous mango producing districts Rajshahi and Satkhira were optimistic about tidy profits as the yield seemed quite satisfactory this season. However, the Cyclone Amphan dealt a double blow to their hopes.
Most of the mangoes which were supposed to be harvested within a few days got knocked off the trees due to the mighty cyclone that swept over the two districts from Wednesday to Thursday.
Now, farmers in the two districts say they are compelled to sell the dropped mangoes at throwaway prices as the customers are not interested in buying those damaged mangoes.
They said this has added to the woes of farmers, who were already worried over the impact of coronavirus on mango transportation and its marketing.
The farmers have sought government assistance to get out of difficulties.
A total of 4,115 hectares of land were used for cultivating mangoes with a target of 40,000 tonnes in the seven upazilas of Satkhira. However, the cyclone damaged at least 83 percent mangoes, according to the Department of Agricultural Extension(DAE).
Mango grower Abdul Gani of Sadar upazila said he sold a fully loaded truck of mangoes for Tk 1,000 whereas the per maund mango was supposed to be sold at Tk1,500.
"I want financial assistance from the government." he said.
"I have bought twelve mango orchards after taking a loan of Tk120,000 from the bank, But most of the mangoes fell off the trees in the orchards which will cause me to fail in paying off the loan." said another mango trader Biplob Das in Sadar upazila.
Satkhira Sadar Agriculture officer Amjad Hossain said around 83 percent mangoes were damaged due to Cyclone Amphan which was worrying farmers."We have assured the farmers of help."
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 caused a loss of around Tk10 crore.
Mango grower Bir Bahadur of Charghat upazila said, per kg mango sold at Tk 40 to 60 last year, "Now, the per kg dropped mangoes is being sold at Tk 50 paisa."
Another farmer Ariful Islam said: "Half of the mangoes in my orchard fell from the trees due to the Cyclone. I am storing it in my house as no one wants to buy the damaged mangoes which will eventually rot and cause me a huge loss."
Meanwhile, the Rajshahi Deputy Commissioner Hamidul Haque said initiatives have been taken to buy the dropped mangoes at a higher price than the current market price, which will be distributed to the poor.
120,000 tons of mango, which amounts to 10 percent of the country's annual production, was damaged by the gusty winds brought by the mighty cyclone, said the country's Department of Agricultural Extension.
Of the country's total 2,231,000 hectares of orchard, mangoes in about 7,384 hectares were damaged by the cyclone, it said.