Haribhanga Mango of Rangpur: Framers eye good production this year
The growers of Haribhanga mango variety in Rangpur are expecting a good yield of this delicious seasonal fruit this year, which is considered a revolutionary crop in changing the agriculture economy in the district over the last ten years.
This year the business will be of around Tk 200 crore, said the traders.
According to the farmers, the harvesting of Haribhanga in Rangpur is to begin at the end of June.
Local farmers said, Haribhanga is grown in other northern districts, including Nilphamari, Dinajpur, Thakurgaon and Panchagarh, but it is more delicious if it is from Rangpur, for the favourable weather and soil. It is better if the mango is from either Mithapukur or Badarganj Upazila of Rangpur.
According to the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) in Rangpur, at least 3,300 hectares of land have been brought under mango cultivation in Rangpur. Of them, Haribhanga mango variety has been cultivated in 1,865 hectares of land.
The production would be around 27,925 metric tonnes.
Overall mango production in the district would be around 44,000 metric tonnes.
There are around 4,000 commercial mango orchards in Rangpur.
During a visit to different places recently, including Akhirhat, Podaganj and Matherhat in Mithapukur and Gopalpur of Badarganj, recently, this correspondent found the orchards filled with mangoes. The growers were seen busy taking care of the orchards. Farmers said that the harvesting will start from the end of June.
Farmers always get a better price of this particular variety of mango as it is harvested late.
Md Rafiqul Islam, a Haribhanga mango grower of Podaganj village in Mithapukur Upazila, said that this special mango has played a significant role in changing the economy of Rangpur. "Suffering a loss from agriculture is a common phenomenon among the farmers, but Haribhanga mango variety is helping the farmers stay afloat in such situation", he said.
Many farmers have switched to mango cultivation over the last 20 years as the demand of this particular fruit has increased for its unique teste, he said.
The variety is a blessing for the farmers of Rangpur, he said.
Despite a good yield last year, the farmer did not get a better price of Haribhanga mango just for the prevailing coronavirus pandemic. This year, the growers are also worried to get a fair price of their produce. The marketing of the fruit is badly affected for the pandemic situation due to transport constraint.
The farmers demanded that the government introduce a special train for transportation of Haribhanga from Rangpur.
The farmers also demanded that the infrastructure of Podaganj Haat be developed, where the seasonal fruit is produced for sale.
Shahjahan Mia of Tekani village said he has been growing Haribhanga on 48 decimals of land for the last ten years and he is expecting a good production this year.
Nazrul Islam, another mango grower of Akhirahat village in Mithapukur Upazila, said that many local educated unemployed youths have got engaged in mango production.
Abdus Salam of Akhirahat village said he has been producing Haribhanga variety since 1992. Initially, he started cultivation in a nascent area. Now, he is the owner of 25 more extensive orchards in the Upazila.
Agronomist Masudur Rahman, the additional deputy Director of DAE in Rangpur, said that the area of Haribhanga cultivation is increasing in Rangpur every year as the farmers are making a good profit. "It requires less labour, pesticide and investment", he said.
Steps will be taken to ease the marketing hassle of Haribhanga mango in the district, said Asib Ahsan, the Deputy Commissioner of Rangpur.
According to the locals, late Nafal Uddin Paikar of Tekani village in Mithapukur Upazila of Rangpur was the pioneer of the Haribhanga mango cultivation around 62 years ago.
The mother tree of Haribhanga mango is still alive.
Locals of the area demanded the local administration to protect the mother tree, which is now a part of the heritage in the district.