Bagha Upazila in the district has started process of exporting mangoes to United Kingdom (UK) for the first time this season.
On Friday afternoon, a consignment of three tonnes of mangoes was sent to Dhaka from the upazila for packaging before export, Shafiullah Sultan, Bagha Upazila Agriculture Officer said.
“We have a plan of exporting around 300 tonnes of mangoes from Bagha this year,” Sultan said, adding no mango was exported from here last year but 35 tonnes of mangoes were exported from Bagha two years back.
He said half of the total mango production in the district takes place in Bagha upazila while about one lakh metric tonnes of mangoes are produced here every year.
An exporter company “Karita KIFC” bought three tonnes of mango for exporting to the UK, he added.
Shafiqul Islam, a mango farmer, told BSS that they are producing the delicious fruit on contract basis with 20 farmers in Bagha upazila because this mango is produced for export to the European market.
He said the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) supervises the overall production of the mango.
Islam, who has been exporting mango to various foreign countries since 2014, said there is huge demand of Rajshahi’s mango in markets abroad.
He said the Rajshahi’s mango farmers and traders are being affected badly due to the pandemic.
Mango export is almost double profitable than that of selling in local markets. But additional cost and care is needed for preparing the exportable mangoes as it requires use of modern technologies.
“If we get requisite facilities in the fields of export, the volume of exported mango will be boosted,” he added.
There is no packaging house in Bagha and so the mango is sent to Dhaka for packaging, he said. As a result, some mangoes get damaged before reaching Dhaka, he added.
Managing Director of Karita KIFC Surjit Barua told BSS that there is a demand for mango in the international market.
He, however, said hot water treatment is an important issue for mango export to protect those from pest attacks.
“Bangladesh will be able to go ahead more in mango export if we can take more care in mango preservation and marketing,” he added.
Shariful Haque, Additional Deputy Commissioner, said the district administration will extend all possible cooperation to the mango farmers and traders.
The Upazila Monitoring Committee has been working to make sure only the qualitative mangoes are exported, he said.
“We are determined to brightening the country’s image abroad through the mango export,” he added.
Meanwhile, Abdul Awal, Deputy Director of DAE, said Rajshahi is expected to export around 333 tonnes of mangoes to four European countries during the current harvesting season.
He said the mangoes will be exported to Germany, France, Italy and Switzerland. “We have selected four varieties- Khirshapat, Langra, Amropaly and Totamury- for export,” he added.
Awal said the mangoes will be exported through the Bangladesh Fruits Vegetables and Allied Products Exporters Association (BFVAPEA).