Mango growers and traders have sought government assistance to get out of difficulties
Cyclone Amphan that battered Satkhira last week has doubled the woes of mango farmers in the district who were already in trouble due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
They have no other way but to dump their mangoes in the trash bins as the customers are not interested in buying those damaged by the cyclone.
The farmers and traders said this year their woes were exacerbated by Amphan which crushed all hopes they had with the upcoming harvest. Mango traders have suffered huge losses.
Rajab Ali Khan, owner of M/s Russell Traders, a mango trader in Borobazar, said there were no buyers of mangoes battered down by the cyclone. Instead, one has to spend money for dumping the rotten mangoes in the dustbin. It has doubled their losses.
"Small traders and mango farmers have sent the damaged mangoes here so that we can manage any buyer. Initially 2-10 kg mangoes were sold at Tk4-5 per kg but now none is interested to buy those," he said.
"Thousands of kilogrammes of mangoes have been damaged in Borobazar. Every mango trader has suffered such a loss. I have lost more than Tk2 lakh."
Mango trader Hasan Ali of Munjitpur area of the town, said, "I had bought mango orchards for Tk10 lakh. I expected a return of Tk15-16 lakh from the orchards. This year I lost total investment due to the cyclone."
Bulu, a mango trader of the same area, said, "I had a mango orchard worth Tk4 lakh. I expected to sell mangoes worth Tk6-7 lakh. The Amphan destroyed everything."
Abdus Sadeq, a mango trader of old Satkhira College area, said the mango orchard worth Tk8 lakh was destroyed by the storm this year. "I lost the capital of my business. We have yet to get any cooperation from the department of agriculture."
Mango growers and traders have sought government assistance to get out of difficulties.
There are 5,299 mango orchards on 4,110 hectares of land in Satkhira. Of these, Himsagar mangoes grow on 1,550 hectares, Langra on 564 hectares and Amrapali on 899 hectares. The mighty cyclone damaged 16,296 tonnes of mangoes in the district, according to the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE).
Satkhira Agriculture Extension Department's Deputy Director Nurul Islam said 13,100 mango farmers in the district were affected by the cyclone Amphan. Their list has been sent to the higher authorities. "If we receive any government aid, it will be distributed among the affected people."
Satkhira Deputy Commissioner SM Mostafa Kamal said, "We have also bought some mangoes from the traders and distributed those as relief in an attempt to save the farmers and traders from loss."