All is not well with the ‘King of Fruits' - the Mango - this season.
The fruit, going by the concerns expressed by the farmers and traders, will not only be bereft of quality but will also make a big dent in the pocket of the common man.
The two-day heavy rain owing to low pressure in the Bay of Bengal last month had upset the calculations of the farming community in Krishna district as a good number of buds had fallen. The sudden appearance of black spots on the tender fruit had also added to the woes of the farmers.
“Nearly 40 per cent of the crop was lost due to the black spots that appeared owing to the change in the atmosphere after the untimely rain,” said Pamarthi Koteswara Rao, mango farmer in Nunna. He said the moisture and the early-morning mist were detrimental to the health of the fruit. “Bright sun shine is the need of the hour for a better yield,” he added.
Koteswara Rao said the fruits would lack taste and juice this season as farmers were using more pesticides to bring the fruit to the normal shape and colour. “The expenditure on pesticides has doubled from Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 4,000”.
Dilli Srinivasa Rao, a farmer, said that the Chinna Rasalau looked encouraging while the Banganapalli and Thothapuri may be dearer to both exporters and general public. “This season will be dreadful for both farmers and traders.
The farmers may not get the expected yield and the traders will not get quality fruit. The farmers are expecting around Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 20,000 per tonne. But they might get the same price as last year which was around Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 12,000 per tonne,” Mr. Rao felt. Decades of experience in mango business was quite vivid in the words of Mr. K. K. Gupta, a trader, who, without any hesitation, painted a dismal picture of the season. “The flowering, though delayed, started off in a buoyant manner. Actually the flowering should have begun in November or December. But the rains played the spoil sport”. “Nearly 120 tonnes of fruits (10 lorry loads) were exported to Mumbai from Reddygudem last year by this time. But this year, just four tonnes had left the mart. Last year Asia's biggest mango market at Nunna was abuzz with activities, but this time, the activity is yet to begin. May the fruits will start rolling in after Ugadi,” he felt.