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Roadside mango stalls do brisk business

25With summer, mangoes—popularly known as the king of fruits in the country—are now being showcased at several temporary stalls in the capital, such as the Rajshahi Mango Fair, at Rampura, Badda, Malibag, Mirpur, Dhanmondi, Uttara, Gulshan, Gulistan and other locations.
Almost all the popular varieties of mangoes, such as Langra, Gopalbhog, Himsagar, Aam Rupali, Guti Aam and Harivanga, can be found at these mini mango fairs. Customers are also buying as many mangoes as they can, as prices are comparatively reasonable, compared to the previous year.
Seasonal businessmen are collecting mangoes from the wholesale markets at Rajshahi and Chapainababganj, where mangoes are cultivated widely for commercial purposes. Kansat, Shibganj, Barobazar and Chapai are the major mango wholesale markets in Rajshahi division.
But most businessmen of Dhaka usually contract directly with the farmers and collect mangoes from the gardens to make sure that the  fruits are free of chemicals, such as carbide.
The businessmen are booking good profits as they buy mangoes at cheap rates and sell them in the capital at around double the prices. Because of the holy month of Ramzan, sales of mangoes have risen much more than in the previous years.
Many young people, who are not traders by profession, have also forayed into the temporary mango business to make a fast buck. Cost effectiveness, small amounts of investments, instant profits, little scope to count losses and low investments in shops are the main reasons.
Besides, the target customers of the seasonal businessmen are their acquaintances, relatives, friends and neighbours, which make it easy for them to sell their goods.
Moshiur Rahman, one of the mango businessmen in the capital, completed his Bachelor’s degree in Business from BRAC University in 2008. He forayed into the seasonal business instead of seeking a job. Since then, he has been engaged in the mango business during summer.
As in previous years, Moshiur is conducting his mango business at a temporary stall at his locality Rampura in the capital. He has invested Tk. 50,000, along with one of his friends, with a 50 per cent share this year. A month ago, he went to Rajshahi, the largest area where mangoes are cultivated, and collected mangoes directly from a farmer at a mango orchard.
He went twice at Rajshahi within a month and bought 40 mounds of mangoes, and brought these to Dhaka by bus.
Talking to The Independent, the young businessman said he has bought each kilogram of mango at an average cost of Tk. 25 to Tk. 30, depending on the variety, and sells it in the market at Tk. 60 to Tk. 70. He has booked profits of Tk. 1,000 to Tk. 1,200 per mound. He has earned around Tk. 90,000 with a Tk. 50,000 investment, or a profit of Tk. 40,000 in a month.
Moshiur explained: “It is not necessary to invest a huge amount of money to engage in the mango business.
A young businessman like me cannot do business with a lot of capital. Besides, there is no risk associated with this business, as the fruits can be consumed by my family as well.
In addition, many of my customers are my acquaintances, neighbours, friends and relatives, apart from other customers. They made pre-bookings before I went to Rajshahi.”
According to him, most people often do not trust the professional mango sellers in the capital as they allegedly mix carbide in the mangoes, which is harmful to human health.
“That is why people who know me personally usually seek to buy mangoes without chemicals.”
Like Moshiur Rahman, many young people have joined the business this year, since the beginning of summer.
Some of them have other businesses, while some are even students.
According to the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), mangoes have been cultivated on around 42,000 hectares of land this year. Around 10 lakh tonnes of the mouth-watering fruit have been produced in the country