The Department of Horticulture is expecting a bumper harvest of mangoes this year, thanks to widespread flowering and formation of fruits in the State.

The major mango-growing districts including Kolar, Chickballapur, and Ramanagaram, escaped the unseasonal rainfall, which hit other parts of the State.

There is no threat to the crop and the yield is expected to be good this year which is being seen as an “on year” for the crop, sources in the department said.

“The unseasonal showers rains have spared the mango-growing belt, particularly the areas around Bangalore. We have reports from the districts that flowering and fruit formation was good this year,” said R.J. Prakash, Additional Director of Horticulture (Fruits and Flowers).

Mr. Prakash told The Hindu that a bumper yield is expected this year.

About 1.7 lakh hectare land was under mango cultivation in the State.

He said mango-growers were switching over to varieties such as Alphonso which yields good returns.

“Mango-growers in the State are becoming organised like apple-growers in the north. Soon, farmers will adopt new marketing methods to get higher returns for their crop,” Mr. Prakash said.

Experts say that the size and quality of the fruit may decline if there is no pre-monsoon showers in April-May.

Traditional varieties such as Alphonso, Badam, Raspuri and Neelam have good demand in the market and they actually drive the market as they have larger acceptance among consumers.

Mango crop affected

Mango cultivation in some parts of Mysore has been hit by the recent unseasonal showers.

The areas around Varakodu village are said to be most affected.

“We will conduct a survey on the status of mango crop in the wake of untimely rain,” H.M. Nagaraj, Deputy Director of Horticulture, Mysore, said.

He said that the showers may also trigger outbreak of ‘powdery mildew’, a fungal disease that affects flowering, and advised growers to spray a recommended fungicide.

“We have received inputs from some growers that the rain had affected the crop. The extent of damage has to be assessed. Nevertheless, the yield is expected to be good,” he explained.

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