Mango intercropping gains momentum in Rajshahi

Mango intercropping gains momentum in Rajshahi

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Mango intercropping with various cereal crops especially paddy has been gaining momentum in the region including its vast Barind tract as the growers in general are being interested towards the farming.In the wake of adverse impact of climate change, the farmers face trouble to depend on only paddy cultivation for the last couple of years.
To get more income and to recoup the losses, they are cultivating paddy, onion, garlic, brinjal, mustard, turmeric and papaya with mango as intercropping. By dint of excellent output, the farmers created new more mango orchards in the new method.According to the sources of Department of Agriculture Extension, the beneficiary farmers cultivated mango in around 20,000 hectares of land in Rajshahi, Chapainawabgonj, Naogaon and Natore districts Dr Alim Uddin, Principal Scientific Officer of Fruit Research Station, said inter-cropping with sugarcane has been found as more beneficial to the farmers as it can boost total crop production per unit area coupled with ensuring sustainable mango cultivation with higher economic benefit compared to other crops.Quoting the field-level research findings and farmers views the mango researcher said systematic inter-cropping- paddy, onion, lentil, mug bean, garlic and some other winter crops, vegetables and spice help increases mango yield compared to sole-cropping.Dr Aim revealed that inter-cropping not only increase total crop production but also help improve soil health and fertility with little or no negative effect on mango yield and quality.Furthermore, inter-cropping create additional job opportunity needed for intensive crop production. He underscored the need for wide-range expansion of mango intercropping through reactivating the field level agricultural officials and staff for the nation’s food security.The production of the juicy fruits increases each year for its profit, but unfortunately, not a single mango-processing plant has been established in the region for the preservation of the fruits since the inception of the country.Mangoes grow almost everywhere in the district however; Paba, Charghat and Bagha have a long-lasting tradition of producing quality mangoes.As the growers reap large sums of money from mango farming, it encourages many others towards farming mangoes, in turn resulting in an escalation of acreage.Various processed food-items particularly juice, soft drinks, pickles,
jams and jellies can be manufactured through the processing of mangoes. If possible, this sector can contribute a lot to the region’s economy as the processed foods are in enormous demand, apart from their high market values.
Mango is a perishable item. So, it needs immediate consumption or processing for its value addition. Besides, various natural calamities like storms, hailstorms, gusty winds, tornados and droughts cause a significant portion of produced mangoes to fall out of trees.However, the modern processing plant can make the fallen mangoes valued food items and protect them from getting damaged.Meanwhile, mango, the highest juicy and delicious fruit of the summer season, will start appearing in the local markets by end of this month.Some indigenous varieties along with the two major varieties- Gopalbhog and Khirsapat will appear first. However, the consumers have to wait for some next more days to get the Gopalbhog and Khirsapat in full scale.The popular summer fruit will be available in the local markets by mid of June abundantly when all the varieties will appear in the markets. Meanwhile, due to some nor-wester and storms, the expected yield at the mango orchards was hampered to some extent this year.Mango growers fear 30 to 40 percent drop in production this year in the region due to the natural calamity and other irregular weather pattern. -BSS, Rajshahi

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