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Sunday, May 29, 2016, Jaistha 15, 1423 BS, Shaban 21, 1437 Hijri

Awareness needed for safe, hygienic mango harvesting
Published :Sunday, 29 May, 2016,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 46

RAJSHAHI, May 28: There is no alternative to being all the mango farmers under requisite awareness for promotion of modern technologies to make the mango harvesting and marketing process safe and hygienic.
The observations came in a workshop session where Agricultural scientists and extension officials mentioned that modern technologies need to be promoted commercially in mango orchards in Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj districts during the forthcoming pre-harvest season to protect mango from pest attack besides facilitating the farmers to get quality and better yield.
Mango is the leading seasonal cash crop of the country's northwest region and dominates the economy in the two districts famous for the delicious fruit.
They said there are about 30 lakh mango trees of different ages and varieties on some 32,816 hectares in the region with creation of many more new mango orchards and increased mango farming in the homesteads in recent years.
If the fruit bagging method were used substantially, use of harmful chemical insecticides and pesticides could be reduced to a greater extent on the huge trees. Thereby, the technology will open up a new door of exporting mango of the two districts to various foreign markets.
They were addressing a daylong farmers training titled "Modern Technology for Safe Mango Production" at Pakri village under Godagari Upazila in Rajshahi district on Friday.
Agriculture Sustainable and Socio-Economic Development Organisation (ASSEDO) organised the workshop in association with Upazila Administration. More than 42 farmers both male and female, local service providers and traders joined the programme.
Upazila Nirbahi Officer Khalid Hassan and Agriculture Officer Toufikur Rahman addressed the workshop as the chief and special guests respectively with Agriculturist Rabiul Alam, Executive Director of ASSEDO, in the chair.
The speakers revealed that bagged fruits had high recovery of marketable fruits over the non-bagged ones. Pre-harvest fruit bagging is a useful approach for plant protection and improved post-harvest fruit quality as bagging of mango fruits for lower insect and disease damage in fruits.
One management practice which can help address these problems is fruit bagging because it is another way of preventing contact between the host and insects and diseases as well as minimize mechanical injuries thus improving quality.
The initiative aimed to determine which of the bagging materials and forms gave the best quality of fruits, determine the effect of the bagging materials and forms on pest incidence and find out which of the bagging materials and forms gave the highest yield and net income.
Rabiul Alam said more than 1,200 mango related persons were imparted training on value chain coupled with safe production and marketing last year.
In this way, 4,000 pre-harvest mango-bagging process were executed protecting the cash crop from all kinds of diseases and pests that boosted the volume of exportable mango.
He said mango is one of the commercially important fruit crops in the region but the crop is prone to attacks of insect pests and diseases in all stages of development.
In this field, the technology has created a high hope among the growers and traders towards removing the menace.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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