July 19, 2024, 11:58 pm

Staff Correspondent

2024-06-15 12:39:35 BdST

Mango lovers face pricey bite as weather woes hit production

Consumers are finding mangoes increasingly out of reach this peak harvesting season due to soaring prices attributed to lower production.

The price of these juicy summer fruits has nearly doubled compared to last year, a consequence of prolonged heatwaves and unseasonal rain.

Despite the arrival of various mango varieties in Dhaka’s markets, prices remain high. On Tuesday, mangoes were sold for Tk120-150 per kg in Mirpur, Mohammadpur, Dhanmondi and Karwan Bazar, whereas last year, the price ranged from Tk60-80 per kg. Specific varieties like Himshagor were sold at Tk140-150 per kg, Langra at Tk120-140 per kg, and Amropali at Tk120-130 per kg in Mirpur.

Mango production has suffered due to unusual weather patterns, including low temperatures and rain during the flowering period in late winter, followed by severe heat waves, according to horticulturists and farmers.

Abdullah Al Masum, a mango producer and trader from Pirganj in Rangpur, said that mango production dropped by almost 40% this year.

He attributed this to adverse weather conditions, particularly rain during the flowering period. Wholesale prices reflect this shortage, with this year’s prices starting at Tk1,400-1,600 per maund in Chapainawabganj, compared to Tk800 per maund last year.

Good quality Khirshapat (Himshagor) is being sold for Tk3,200-4,200 per maund, and Gopalbhog for Tk4,600 per maund. Last year, Khirshapat was priced at Tk1,400-1,800 per maund. Producers expect the price of Haribhanga to skyrocket due to significantly lower production.

Aminul Islam, an employee of a private company, expressed his frustration, saying that higher prices prevent him from buying as many mangoes as he would like.

“I bought two kilograms of Himshagor at Tk140 per kg, while Amropali was selling at Tk130 per kg,” he said, noting the substantial increase from last year’s prices of Tk60-80 per kg.

KJM Abdul Awal, director (in charge) of the Horticulture Wing at the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), confirmed that adverse weather has significantly reduced mango production.

“Production may be reduced by 40% compared to the regular season,” he said, explaining that low temperatures and rainfall during the flowering time were major factors.

According to the DAE, mango production was 2,350,499 tonnes from 202,968 hectares in FY22, compared to 2,500,570 tonnes in FY21 and 2,468,050 tonnes in FY20.

Bangladesh produces several mango varieties, with the most prominent being Amropali, Surjapuri, BARI 4 Fazli, Haribhanga, Aswina, Khirshapat, Guti, and Mistimodhu.

Premier varieties include Fazli, Lengra, Gopalbhog, Himshagor, Haribhanga, and Khirshapat.

Farmers are increasingly interested in cultivating the sweetest varieties, such as Gopalbhog, Lengra, Fazli, NakFazli, Khirsapati, Mohanbhog, Chyatapori, Haribhanga, and Lakhna.

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