Although Jaistha (mid-May to mid-June), is aptly called the Madhu Mas is almost finished, the supply of mangos in the market has dropped because there are fewer buyers and the high transportation cost due to Covid-19.
At this time, alongside some online platforms, many young entrepreneurs in Rajshahi have become involved in selling mangoes online, using all kinds of social media including Facebook and WhatsApp and getting a good response from customers.
Upon taking orders online, they collect mangos from the garden, pack them there and deliver them to the customers through courier service.
Earlier, mangoes used to reach consumers of Dhaka or other cities from the fruit market here after changing many hands.
Siam Rezwan, a news presenter for a private television channel, quit his job and joined a travel agency business in his hometown of Rajshahi. As that business is closed due to Covid-19, he has started an online mango business and has supplied 50 maunds of mangos so far.
"After receiving complaints at the beginning that the mangoes sent through courier were damaged, we further improved the packaging. As all couriers have yet to return to full operation so we face trouble sending mangos," Siam said.
Not only Siam, hundreds of young entrepreneurs of Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj and Naogaon have now joined the mango business.
Manu Mohan Bappa student of Fine Arts of Rajshahi University (RU) came to Rahanpur in Chapainawabganj on holidays due to the Covid-19 shutdown and started an online mango business. Through his Facebook page 'Rainbow Mango Station', he has so far sold 30 maunds of Gopalbhog and Khirsapat mangos in different parts of the country.
Bappa said, "We have 100 bighas of mango orchards. Even then we have bought orchards with 600 trees of Khirsapat and Langra mangoes. "
There are about 30 online mangos selling Facebook pages only in Rahanpur. Mangoes are also being sold through displaying live on Facebook, Messenger, Imo and WhatsApp.
Rashedul Islam, a former student of RU's Department of Mass Communication and Journalism, has sold five and a half tonnes of mangoes in different parts of the country through Facebook page 'Mango Shop'.
He has a target of selling 150 tonnes of mangoes this season. He has 12 people at the field level and 30 people for collecting and packaging mangoes in different districts of the country, he added.
With the introduction of online mango supply, farmers have started getting a fair price for the fruits on a limited scale.
Sayem, a mango farmer from Sagaril village in Chapainawabganj, said, "I have about 100 mango trees and have sold mangoes to online traders from the garden. Prices are good. The cost of transporting mangoes to the market is also saved."
Chattogram's Imtiaz Hossain said, "I bought 45 kilogrammes of Khirsapat mangos online in two phases. Although the price is a bit high, I have got fresh mangos."
Dr Shikha of Bogura said she bought mangoes through facebook page 'Rainbow Mango Station' and got fresh ones."
Md Shamsul Haque, Deputy Director of Rajshahi Department of Agricultural Extension, said, although 15 percent of the mangos has dropped from trees during Cyclone Ampan this year, the price of mangos is good. Even though online supply has started, it is not enough to deliver mangos across the country. It will take time to develop the online mango business.