Mango, litchi and other summer fruit growers in Bangladesh are facing a double blow due to supply disruption during the coronavirus pandemic as well as fall in production. Low demand following the pandemic and disruption in transportation has put seasonal fruit growers in peril during this peak harvesting season, said insiders.
Mango and litchi growers in Satkhira, Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj, Rangpur, Dinajpur, Pabna, Rangamati, Khagrachari, Bandarban and few other districts have been suffering heavy losses due to lack of orders. Besides, more than half of their fruits were destroyed as the cyclonic storm Amphan hit Bangladesh on May 20.
Belal Hossain, a mango gardener at Bagha upazila in Rajshahi, said 50 per cent mango on his three hectares of land was damaged by the cyclone last month. "And now we are not getting customers for the rest of fruits following the pandemic. Transport movement on limited scale is also hampering our trade."
Kansat in Chapai nawabganj, the biggest mango market of the country, also witnessed a slower mango trade this year. A mango trader at Kansat said this year transaction of mango sale is 20 per cent less than last year.
As usual, he said, Kansat buzzes with traders from different districts such as Dhaka, Narayanganj, Sylhet, and Chattogram during the March-May period. There is hardly any trader now from other districts due to lockdown in many parts of the country, he added.