Unusually this mango season has seen lesser arrivals and higher prices, taking the fruit beyond the reach of most of the commoners in Karur district.
With the arrival of summer, several seasonal fruits make their appearance. They include varieties of mangoes, cucumber, watermelon, palm fruit besides coconut from several places. They not only quench the thirst of parched throats but also tickle the taste buds, enticing the people with their everlasting appeal.
Traditional horticulturists say that the yield would be good in alternative years, with one dull year interspersing two good seasons. But this year has fallen in the low ebb as far as yield and consequently arrivals are concerned, pushing up the prices across all varieties from common varieties to exquisite ones.
“This crop season has not been beneficial to us as too hot a climate during the flowering period, windy and rainy germination stage conspired with hot sunny weather conditions during the fruit growth cycle hampered yield,'' points out working president of Cauvery Delta Farmers' Welfare Association and major mango grower Mahadanapuram V. Rajaram.
There have been very heavy losses in the mango gardens raised at Mahadanapuram, Krishnarayapuram, Karungalapalli, Thanneerpalli and Nadupatti in Karur district. The returns have been poor and the produce is not fetching us remunerative prices either, aver the growers. In fact some growers say that they have been offered only half the regular lease rates, courtesy the lesser yield in the gardens in several areas.
In some other areas of Karur district, the yield has been less than one-third plunging the growers into despair. “What to do we are left to the mercy of nature and it has played truant this year,'' rues C. Govindasamy of Karur noting that his gardens have got him only half the regular lease prices and that too after much bargaining.
Whatever was left of the gardens was cleaned up by the recent gale and strong winds followed by rain over the past three days.
As for the retail customers and common man, those fruits that were selling at Rs. 20 to 30 a kg have become dearer by another Rs. 20 or more as the arrivals dwindled. Sendura variety sells for Rs. 30 and 40 a kg, Banganapalli Rs. 50 to 60 a kg, Alphonsa Rs. 60 to Rs. 70 a kg and Himam Pasanth Rs. 100 a kg.
The arrivals even from Salem, Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri besides those from Andhra Pradesh have been pretty less and so the price is reigning high, point out retailers who are hit hard and were finding it difficult to to cart sale and head load sales.