Local mango farmers in Chapainawabganj are struggling to get prices for their produce at the end of the season as the market has become flooded with imported Indian varieties.
In the face of increased imports of Indian varieties, mango producers and trade leaders in the district have called for government intervention to check imports nad protect local producers.
The Department of Agricultural Extension has said that necessary measures would be taken to protect the interests of local producers.
Chapainawabganj is home to one of the largest mango markets in South Asia, the Kansat mango market in Shibganj upazila, that trades in crores each day during the season.
The season for the fruit usually ends in the market in mid August. However, producers took extra care of the Ashwina variety this season to make it available throughout the month of September.
Spot visits showed that the producers’ efforts were reaping little fruits since the surplus in supply has caused to drive down prices, fetching around Tk 4,000 to 6,000 per maunds of the Ashwina.
Local producers have said that huge imports of the Indian Chosha variety had inundated the markets in Dhaka and Chattogram in the last month.
This has caused demand for the local variety to significantly decline and drive down prices to almost half per maund.
A farmer in Shyampur union, Rafikul Islam, said that he has faced a loss of around Tk 1,00,000 this season as he failed to get good prices for the Ashwina.
He was of the opinion that he could have obtained better prices for his produce had there been no Indian imports to the market.
Ahsan Habib, Member Secretary of the Chapainawganj Mango Foundation, said that local producers were facing losses of upto Tk. 2,000 to 3,000 per maund of the Ashwina variety this season compared to previous years due to the unregulated imports from India.
No visible measures had been taken by the Agricultural Extension Department to protect the local producers, Ahsan added.
Monjurul Huda, Deputy Director of the Agricultural Extension Department in Chapainawbganj, said that measures would be taken and the concerned authorities would be informed accordingly to ensure that foreign imports were regulated during the season and that local producers could cut their losses.