The district unit of the Department of Agriculture, however, said despite the low production, the target for output has been achieved.
Supply to Shibganj’s Kansat, the biggest mango trading hub in Bangladesh, dropped by almost 50 percent, said the traders. The situation is the same at Puraton Bazar, Bholahat and Gomostapur’s Rahonpur markets.
Some of the traders in Kansat and Puraton Bazar said they had enough supply in the past two years but business was down due to restrictions imposed by the authorities over the coronavirus pandemic.
Now they are making a good profit despite a drop in supply as more customers are showing up, the traders said.
Usually, Gopalbhog mangoes remain in the market for a short time and are sold out in a week’s time. Last year, the traders sold Gopalbhog at Tk 35 per kg which is now sold at around Tk 80 per Kg.
Amropali is a little cheaper, selling at around Tk 60 per kg. Fazli mangoes are sold at Tk 50-53 per kg.
Prices of some other types of mangoes hover around Tk 50 per kg.
All of those were sold last year at half the current prices, said the traders.
“Last two years we had enough mangoes in the market but customers didn’t show up due to the coronavirus pandemic. This time the supply dropped but more customers are buying mangoes,” said trader Sukumar Saha.
The coronavirus pandemic pushed down the mango business to its rock bottom, said Habib Al Sadir, owner of a mango orchard in Chhatrajitpur village in Shibganj. “Many of the traders faced financial loss and we hope to make it up with the good profit we’re making this year.”
As many as 250 to 300 trucks full of mangoes are leaving Kansat for different parts of the country every day, said Omar Farook Tipu, general secretary of Kansat Mango Wholesalers and Traders Cooperative Society. He, however, said the number of trucks was usually double in the past.
An increase in the supply of Fazli mango will make the situation better, he believes. He expressed his satisfaction with the prices, adding that wholesalers from different districts are visiting Kansat to buy mangoes.
He also said that this year the government fixed a mango production target of 325,000 tonnes in the district.
Sadar and Shibganj Upazilas yielded fewer mangoes this season than expected but the Barendra area yielded more, according to him. "Smaller trees yielded more than the bigger ones, enabling us to reach the target,” the agricultural officer said.
Both farmers and traders are getting a good price this year for the mangoes, he said.