For many the silver line of the sweltering heat of summer is the mango. The mango alleviates the discomfort of the high day temperatures and scorching winds of the season. It is the king of fruits for India. It comes in many varieties and can be consumed in many forms – straight from the tree as a fruit, as a juice extracted from the fruit, processed as jam, as a pickle mixed with species and preserved in oil and it can also be taken with milk, cream and curd as drink or shake and as an ice-cream.
It is also used as condiment in all curries and dals during summer. It is savoured and consumed by everyone because it is very affordable in the season.
The mango season has begun here with fruits coming in by the truck load to Nunna Mango Market.
Drop in yield
Horticulture Assistant Director Balaji Nayak told The Hindu that mango was cultivated in 65,400 hectares in Krishna district. An average yield of between eight and ten tonnes per hectare could be expected this year, he said.
There would be a 20 per cent decrease in production this season when compared to last year because of the onset of various types of infestation. The formation of both the flowering and fruit was delayed because of very low night temperatures during winter. Following that the horticulture crop was also subjected to attacks of thrips, mango hopper and even fruit borer resulting in a drop in the yield.
The farmers could however reduce the damage by taking various measures they learnt in several awareness and training programmes conducted for them, Mr Nayak said. About 300 mango farmers were given training not only by experts of the Nuzvid Mango Research Centre, but also from the Agricultural University at Hyderabad. About 150 mango growers who were interested in exporting their produce were also given training this year.
Though there is a reduction in yield Mr Nayak said that the mango growers would not face any losses because the fruit was fetching a very good price right from the beginning.
While a tonne of mango usually sold for Rs 6,000 to Rs 8,000 a tonne in the beginning of the season the mango growers were getting Rs 15,000 to Rs 16,000 this year, he said.
The Horticulture Department has set for itself a target of facilitating the export of 300 tonnes this year compared to the 80 tonnes last year and 120 tonnes and 110 tonnes the two years prior to it. Farmers were also educated about the benefits of utilising the Vapour Treatment Plant established in Nuzvid, he said.
Keywords: Mango export,