People of the city can pick up a mango of their choice as the first ever Mango Mela, being organised by the Horticulture Department, got off to a colourful start at the new rythu bazaar in MVP Colony on Wednesday. Lovers of the ‘king of the fruits’ have a lot to rejoice, as all the 16 varieties of carbon-free ripened mangoes on display in 30 stalls are reasonably priced.

Some of the mangoes available on display-cum-sale from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. are Banginapalli, Cherukurasalu, Kothappali Kobbari, Raja Banginapalli, Suvarnarekha, Collector Kaya, Panchadara Kalasa, Paparao Gova, Chinarasalu and Panukulu. The price per kg ranges from Rs.30 to Rs.70.

In all, 150 tonnes of mangoes were brought on day one for sale by 150 farmers from Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram, Srikakulam, and East Godavari districts.

Minister for Infrastructure and Investment Ganta Srinivasa Rao and Minister for Tribal Welfare P. Balaraju jointly inaugurated the mela in the presence of district Collector V. Sheshadri, AP Micro Irrigation Project Director S. Rammohana Rao, and Horticulture Deputy Director K. Manmadha Rao.

In his brief remarks, Mr. Srinivasa Rao welcomed the initiative and said the mela should be an annual event. Mr. Balaraju said the mela would help the lovers of mangoes get a wider choice.

‘Extensive loss’

The farmers, who brought mangoes after availing themselves of the technical support extended by the Horticulture Department, said this year’s mango crop suffered extensive loss due to pre-monsoon gales and rains.“The yield is not much this year,” pointed out Pragada Jagadeeswara Rao, who grew mangoes in five acres at Donkada in Nakkapalli mandal.

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