A wide variety of carbide-free mangoes have been put on display cum sale at the mango mela, which commenced at Pavilion Grounds here on Wednesday. The Horticulture Department is organising the week-long mango mela with multiple objectives – promoting carbide-free mangoes, discouraging the use of artificially ripened fruits, facilitating direct sale of naturally ripened mangoes by the farmers and eliminating the role of middlemen.
Minister for Horticulture R Venkat Reddy inaugurated the mela here in the afternoon. Collector Siddharth Jain and others were present.
In his inaugural address, Mr Venkat Reddy said that carbide free mangoes of popular varieties such as Banginapalli and Rasalu were kept on display cum sale at the mela. Stating that mango was being grown in 46,000 hectares with a production capacity of 3.68 lakh metric tonnes in the district, he said the horticulture department organised training programmes for mango farmers' groups on scientific methods of harvesting, pre-cooling with treatment of ethylene for good ripening of mango fruits besides other latest post harvest and package techniques. A plan is on the anvil to sanction mini-vans on subsidy to the mango growers, he said adding that 194 vacant posts in the horticulture department will be filled soon. He mooted similar fruit melas to provide improved marketing opportunities to the sweet lime (Battai) growers in the region. The organisers explained the potential health hazards like cancer caused by the consumption of artificially ripened fruits particularly those ripened using calcium carbide. They advised the consumers to buy only naturally ripened fruits. The mela evoked overwhelming response from the mango lovers as 3.8 tonnes of Banginapalli variety of mangoes were sold till 6 pm on the inaugural day.