Mango fruit setting is going on smoothly amid favorable climatic conditions predicting record production of the most popular juicy fruit in the region, particularly Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj districts.
The fruit setting stage is progressing well and the mango trees have started wearing eye-catching looks in the orchards, gardens and homestead areas.
Dr Shafiqul Islam, Principal Scientific Officer of Fruit Research Station (FRS), hoped for a bumper mango production following massive blooms if the climatic conditions, fluctuations in temperatures, rainfalls, attack by pests and insects remain normal for the next few months.
Mango, a delicious seasonal fruit and source of huge earnings especially in the northwestern region, dominates the economy in Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj districts.
Dr Islam said over 65 to 75 percent mango trees have bloomed abundantly during this season on an average and farmers are contacting the officials and experts to take extensive care for better growth of the tender mangoes.
If the extent of seasonal nor'westers remains within tolerable limits, there is a huge possibility of achieving record production of all varieties of mangoes this season, the expert predicted. On behalf of the FRS and Regional Horticulture Research Centre (RHRC), many of the grassroots mango farmers were imparted training to yield maximum output with safe production after the best uses of modern technologies, Dr Shafique added. Dr Mukhlesur Rahman, Principal Scientific Officer of RHRC said the farmers have been showing more interest in mango farming in recent years to increase its production and get huge profits in achieving their economic well being everywhere. He said the weather so far is favorable for mango cultivation this season as soil retained enough water due to sufficient rain in the last monsoon. The trees got enough nutrition as many farmers cultivated mangoes beside vegetable farming lands, he added.
Dr Rahman said Chapainawabganj still has the highest amount of land covered by mango orchards, but Naogaon saw a one-and-a-half-times increase in its mango farm acreage annually over the last 10 years, according to the latest official data given by the DAE.
The area covered by mango orchards in Naogaon increased by 14,925 hectares in the period; while the increase was 9,520 hectares in Chapainawabganj.
Mango farming is not only increasing, but it is changing as well. Instead of creating mango orchards for a hundred years or more, farmers are targeting only 10 years.
Normally 10 mango trees are planted in one bigha of land, but in the new farming method, farmers can plant up to 200 trees in the same space, said Md Nuruzzaman, a mango grower of Porsha upazila of Naogaon.
The growth of mango orchards is the highest in two Naogaon upazilas- Porsha and Sapahar. They have 72 percent of the orchards of the district, says DAE.
Shamsul Wadud, Additional Director of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), suggested the farmers for proper nursing of their orchards and gardens at this stage and controlling pests' attacks, if any, with temperature rise, by mango hoppers now, or sometime later by weevils or other insects for better mango production.
He said there are around 35 lakh mango trees of different ages and varieties on some 32,816 hectares of land in the region with the creation of many mango orchards and increased mango farming in the homesteads in recent years.
The number of growing mango trees has been increasing in the region for the last couple of years.
Abul Kalam Azad, a mango grower, said he sprayed pesticides on the mango trees to protect them from pest attack and have good sprouting. He is very much optimistic of good production if favourable weather prevails.