Karnataka

14 lakh tonnes of mangoes to fall into State’s basket

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This year, the produce will be highest compared to last five years: Horticulture Dept.

The king of fruits is all set for a stately arrival from all corners of the State this year, as sufficient rain and humidity have helped in the flowering that would bring in nearly 14 lakh tonnes of produce this season. This is the largest produce in Karnataka in the last five years, and mouth-watering mangoes are expected to hit the markets by the end of April.

“It is a quantum jump of 58 per cent from last year’s 8 lakh tonnes of produce,” said Shamanur Shivashankarappa, Minister for Horticulture and Agro Marketing, while sharing details on the State’s produce.

He was speaking at a meeting organised by the Department of Horticulture and Karnataka State Mango Development and Marketing Corporation, along with Mango Development Board, on Monday with mango growers of the State.

While Kolar, which has 48,000 hectares under mango orchards, alone is set to contribute about 4.3 lakh metric tonnes this season, it will be followed by Dharwad and Mysuru regions, officials said. The season is expected to commence with the arrival of the Mallika variety in the market followed by Malgova, Rasapuri, Thotapuri, Neelam, Alphonso, and Banganapalli varieties.

No reduction in price?

However, the prices are not expected to come down immediately despite a bumper crop this season.

S.P. Bommanahalli, Director, Horticulture Department, said that to see the immediate effect of the large produce on price seems doubtful. “The prices will depend on transportation from fields, just as a high export market too would not help slash rates here,” he said.

Despite Karnataka having enough stock, processing of mango pulp hasn’t taken off in the State.

“Although Tamil Nadu has much lesser produce, it has 70 mango processing centres. We have to catch up. This is being seriously planned, and we have announced that farmers who are ready to start mango pulp centres will be given Rs. 10 lakh subsidy,” said M. Kamalakshi Rajanna, chairperson, Karnataka State Mango Development and Marketing Corporation.

Big leap in exports

As far as mango exports that were touching just about 500 tonnes till last year, 2016 is all set to see a big leap as exports is expected on the lines of 5,000 tonnes and above. “We have the greatest demand this year owing to our farmers promising a good stock. Awareness programmes throughout the year helped the leap in produce,” said M. Kamalakshi Rajanna, chairperson, Karnataka State Mango Development and Marketing Corporation. ” We already have orders from Malaysia, Singapore, and parts of Europe,” she said.

Orders of several thousand tonnes more are expected for exports. “While the mango board is receiving a delegation from the U.S. Horticulture Department, who will be visiting several farms in Karnataka to place orders, a mango exporter from Malaysia is demanding 20,000 tonnes of our 80 varieties this year,” Ms. Kamalakshi said. “We are working on it, and to make things easier, the board has written to the Ministry of Agriculture to sanction the Plant Quarantine Specifications for export purposes.

Mango mela in Malaysia

For the first time ever, 50 farmers will take part in the Karnataka State Mango Mela, organised by the Mango Development Board, to be held in Malaysia in April. “We are happy to be taking farmers, where they will see people buy and enjoy their produce. This is just the beginning, next year all our activities will be three times higher,” said M. Kamalakshi Rajanna, chairperson, Karnataka State Mango Development and Marketing Corporation.

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Printable version | Jun 24, 2017 1:34:03 AM | http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/14-lakh-tonnes-of-mangoes-to-fall-into-states-basket/article8300929.ece