Dhaka, Bangladesh
Mango orchards crushed by Amphan, huge losses incurred

Mango orchards crushed by Amphan, huge losses incurred

News Report:

All trees are rendered bare,

lamented one orchard owner from a

Rajshahi village as mangoes of his

and other gardens in the hub were

shaken off by last Wednesday night's

cyclone that bored into far inland.



"Also, the enclosure of my

betelleaf plantation is levelled to

the ground,'' said Abdur Rahman of

Ratugram in Durgapur, who had

returned from Malaysia after job and

started farming.



After crossing Bangladesh's

southwestern coast through the

Sundarbans belt in the evening, the

super-cyclone Amphan made landfall

on neighbouring India's West Bengal

and wrought havoc all night long

over there and parts of Bangladedh

close by, particularly Satkhira,

Jashore, Meherpur, Rajshahi and

Chapainawabganj in the mango belt.



Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj are

the haven of best-quality mangoes

that are exported even besides

catering to consumers across the

country. This season, a double bad

luck struck the growers and traders:

corona pandemic and natural

calamity.



A report by News Today staff writer

Mazharul Islam Mitchel says the

storm has dealt a crushing blow to

Bangladesh’s mango growers, already

beleaguered by a coronavirus crisis,

as they stare at huge losses from

the widespread damage it caused to

orchards and fruits almost ripe for

its seasonal harvest.



Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque

said in an online media briefing the

government estimates that the storm

damaged 10 percent of the 7,384

hectares used to cultivate mangoes.



Orchards in Satkhira bore the brunt

of the cyclone’s rage with 60-70

percent of district’s total

cultivation lying in tatters. Local

authorities were asked to purchase

the mangoes blown off the trees by

gusting winds and distribute them

among the poor as aid, according to

Razzaque.



"Maximum mango orchards were

destroyed in Rajshahi region," he

said.



An extensive amount of damages worth

approximately Tk120 crore has been

anticipated for mango business in

Rajshahi since cyclone Amphan

stormed through the orchards.



According to the farmers, at least

20 percent of the mangoes have

fallen off the trees, Hamidul Haque,

deputy commissioner of Rajshahi,

told The News Today.



Md Shamsul Haque, deputy director

of the Department of Agriculture

Extension (DAE) in Rajshahi, said,

"Bagha and Charghat upazilas have

been the hardest-hit areas of the

district."



According to mango farmers, this

will add to the woes of who were

already worried over coronavirus

impact on mango transportation and

its marketing.



According to the Rajshahi

Department of Agriculture Extension

(DAE) mango was cultivated in

17,573-hectare area with a target of

210,000 tons of mangoes this year.



Ariful Islam, another 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 customer

shortage caused by lockdown amid the

coronavirus pandemic. Now, the

cyclone is another nail in the

coffin of mango business.



Farmers in Chapainawabganj said 20

to 40 percent of mangoes fell from

trees although the DAE claims only

five percent of the fruits were

damaged in the district.



Most orchards in Naogaon, another

of the country’s biggest mango-

producing districts, are also

reeling as farmers said trees shed

about 10 to 25 percent of mangoes

during the storm, which equates to a

loss of almost one billion takas,

according to locals.



Naogaon DAE, however, said only

three to five percent mangoes fell

from trees but they were yet to

assess the actual scale of damage.



Meanwhile, despite a productive

yield this year in Meherpur, mango

farmers were already in trouble

after the coronavirus pandemic cut

off foreign trade. Their woes were

exacerbated by the impact of Amphan

which crushed any hope that they had

with the imminent harvest.



Local orchard owners and traders

said this was the gravest crisis

they’ve faced in recent memory.



According to Meherpur DAE official

Akhteruzzaman, the district harbours

about 12,000 orchards of varying

sizes. But the storms and ravaging

winds clipped 90 percent of the

mangoes from the trees.



Meherpur Deputy Commissioner Ataul

Gani said the authorities were

working on assessing the damages and

looking into the steps that can be

taken for recouping the losses.



With inputs from media reports

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