Mangoes of Bangladesh
Who does not love mangoes – with their unique flavor, fragrance and texture? The King among Fruit is thriving very well in Bangladesh, thanks to the modern methods of horticulture that are used to nurture the mango trees. Mangoes grow widely all over Bangladesh and there are innumerable varieties to charm the connoisseur. Each variety has its own admirers. Some of the better mangoes are the superior grafted varieties whereas the local or Deshi aam is grown from seedlings.
The main mango growing regions are around Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj, Nawabganj, and Dinajpur. The better varieties of mangoes have exotic names like Fazlee, Langda, Gopalbogh, Himsagar, Khirsapat, Ashhwina, Khisanbogh, Kuapahadi, Lata Bombai, Foria, Bombai, Kohitoor, Laksmanbhog, Mohanbhog, Misribhog etc. Fazli, Lengra, Gopalbhog and Khisrapat are considered to be the premier varieties – food fit for the Gods!
Each has its distinctive flavor and arguments about the superiority of one over the other can get very serious. Though these are table varieties, meant to be relished as cut fruit, there are others that are used for making jam, jelly, squash, chutney, and pickle. The raw green mango is even added to a dal or curry to enhance the flavor.
Once only Chapainawabganj was famous for growing mangoes, but huge mangoes are also produced in Rajshahi district. There are over 270 varieties of sweet edible mangoes in the Rajashahi region alone. Newer groves are being set up and high-quality fruit trees have been planted along the boundaries of the paddy fields.
December to February is when the mango trees blossom. These grafted mango plants quickly start bearing blossoms only a year or two after the planting. Mango growers try hard to nurture and support their young trees during this period. If all goes well at this time of the year the growers can expect a bumper crop of mangoes.
Mango is the leading seasonal cash crop of the northwestern region of Bangladesh and dominates the economy in Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj districts. There is no large industry here. Most of the people are employed for different jobs on the orchards such as nursing, harvesting and packing mangoes for transportation during the season every year.