People going bananas over mangoes

A farmer says they use pesticides to prevent attack of insects, to fine-colour mangoes and for ripening them.
Published : 15 July 2011, 01:52 PM
Updated : 15 July 2011, 01:52 PM
Kamal Hossain Talukder correspondent
Chapainawabganj, July 16 ( – Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj may be supplying most of the best-variety mangoes across the country, but the people in these two districts prefer staying away from them, thanks to the harmful chemicals used for ripening.
"I don't buy mangoes for a long time. The children cry for mangoes, but I don't buy. They're contaminated with harmful chemicals," said a primary school teacher, Jamal Uddin at Rajshahi city.
Father of two, he said they have to control the urge for mango eating considering its health hazard.
Asked where chemical-free mangoes could be found in Rajshahi, a human hauler driver, Monjurul Karim, said, "Nowhere other than mango orchards."
Observing the fear among the customers, mango traders in Rajshahi are announcing that their produce is chemical-free.
Moktar Hossain, a wholesaler near Dhaka Bus Stand, claimed that his mangoes were not contaminated.
Not only Moktar, at least another 10 traders claimed their produce to be safe.
Mohirul Islam from Puthia Upazila claimed that he never used chemicals in mangoes in his 12 years' business.
But a mango vendor, Monjur Hossain, at Chakbazaar Lane said chemicals are applied mostly at source, not at the distribution or marketing level.
Rapid Action Battalion (RAB-5) director S M Reazul Alam, however, said they discovered some traders using chemicals and fined them during their drives.
"The mobile courts in Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj districts have conducted 21 drives this year and fined many traders for using chemicals in mangoes," he told
He further added, "Earlier, traders used to ripen green mangoes with calcium carbide. But now they're using formalin to preserve the fruit for a long time in the storehouses."
A views exchange meeting was held between the mango growers, traders and journalists on chemical use in fruits in Chapainawabganj Circuit House on Friday.
Farmers' opinions about chemical use in the Chapainawabganj mangoes were different.
One farmer, Ayet Nur, expressing his ignorance about chemical contamination of mangoes, said, "It was beyond our idea that chemicals are used in Chapainawabganj mangoes. Some dishonest traders may be involved in such misdeeds."
But another farmer from Ramkrishnapur area of the district admitted that he is applying the harmful substance.
Explaining the way of application, he said at first they use pesticides to prevent attack of insects during the blossom period. Then they use two other chemicals for fine colour and ripening.
"When these mangoes are brought to shops, the vendors claim those to be chemical-free without knowing the fact," he added.