16 Sep 2023, 14:27

Catimon mango becomes boon for many farmers in Rajshahi

By Md Aynal Haque

RAJSHAHI, Sept 16, 2023 (BSS) - 'Catimon', a mango variety of Thailand, is
giving mango round the year in the region, including its vast Barind tract,
breaking the existing record of around three and half months harvesting
season of the delicious fruit from May to mid August.
Experts said the tree of exotic variety contains mango and flower or budding
simultaneously giving yield three to four times in a year against the single
one of the conventional varieties.

Umme Salma, district training officer of Department of Agricultural Extension
(DAE), said the new variety of Catimon mango is being cultivated on around 15
hectares of land here.
As a result of taking care of the trees regularly, there is an inspiring
growth of the fruits and the mangoes produced on the trees are being sold at
a high price. For this reason, more farmers are interested in cultivating the

Many growers have also raised nurseries alongside their orchards for selling
Catimon saplings amid the increasing demand, she said.

Giving a salient feature of the variety she also said this mango isn't the
seasonal variety of mango but it's testy and sweet and market demand is also
high compared to other varieties.
Normally, mango harvesting and marketing take place from mid May to hardly
mid August in the region from immemorial time.
But there is an exception in terms of the Catimon variety which is still
available in the local markets. The mangoes are being sold at Taka 8,000 per
mound at present meaning that Taka 200 per kilogram. One kilogram of mangoes
contains four to five mangoes.
Dr Shafiqul Islam, principal scientific officer of Regional Fruit Research
Station, said they are conducting research on Thailand's variety to assess
its extent of disease infestation.

Local entrepreneurs brought the Catimon variety to Bangladesh from Thailand
about six years ago and it quickly acclimatised to the local climate.
Since then, entrepreneurs in Rajshahi and its neighbouring districts have
been increasingly turning to Catimon cultivation with about 250 farmers now
growing the fruit.
However, the variety has already reached the farmers' level directly creating
a new dimension in the field of mango farming.
With the passing of time many high yielding mangoes and modern technologies
are coming and enriching the mango production sector gradually vibrating the
region's economic sector.

Shakatwat Hossain Munshi, a mango farmer of Kanaiprara village under Puthia
upazila, said almost every year new varieties of mangoes are being cultivated
here through testing their quality.
Rafiqul Islam has established an orchard of Catimon mango variety at his
village inspiring many of his co-villagers to follow the path bringing a new
dimension to the village's economy.
Islam, a farmer of Maria village in Durgapur upazila of the district, had
collected 1,100 saplings of the variety at Taka 180 per piece from Dinajpur
and transplanted those on 25 bighas of land on pond embankment around three
years back. Flowers started appearing in the subsequent year.
Rafiqul Islam said the number of fruits was non-satisfactory due to less
weight and height of trees in the following year. But, he got three to five
kilograms of yield from each of the trees on an average during the last three
consecutive seasons.
The Catimon trees were planted in rows of three alongside two rows of banana
trees, and unlike traditional mango orchards, the trees were rarely higher
than six feet.
The agricultural entrepreneur developed mango orchards on the banks of at
least 14 ponds on 200 bighas of leased land.
This year, he harvested mangoes worth Taka 3.5 lakh.


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