Bangladesh is exploring ways to ensure that its harvest of seasonal fruits such as mangoes and lychees reach the markets without a hitch during the countrywide lockdown over the coronavirus outbreak.
Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque will hold an online meeting with stakeholders, including local representatives, experts, fruit farmers, traders and wholesalers, to draw up plans in this regard at 11 am Saturday, according to a notice from the ministry.
Seasonal fruits, including mangoes and lychees, have already started hitting the market. The local administration has accordingly decided on dates for plucking specific varieties of mangoes in some of the northern districts, home to the highest number of orchards in the country.
Bangladesh has seen a rapid jump in coronavirus infections and deaths after the first cases were reported on Mar 8. The government enforced a nationwide shutdown of offices, schools and public transports in a bid to curtail the spread of the virus. It has since prolonged the shutdown period in phases, most recently until May 16, with many officials now suggesting that a further extension is on the cards.
According to an article on bdnews24.com, the prevailing circumstances have been particularly worrying for traders of seasonal fruits, according to an official at the agriculture ministry.