After consecutive off years, mango farmers were hoping to make at least a little money out of the crop before the hailstorm on Sunday shattered their dreams. Around 50% of mangoes ready for harvest were destroyed in the rain and wind, in Kolar district, the major mango growing region of the State.
“Due to the weather conditions, unusual flowering patterns, and other problems, we were only left with around 30% of the usual yield this time. Many varieties like Sendhoora, Tothapuri, and Benishan (Banganapalli) were ready for harvest across the district and then it rained. We lost almost 50% of what was left this year,” said Neelaturu Chinnappa Reddy, president, Kolar District Mango Growers’ Association.
Previously in March, two days of hailstorms had also played spoilsport and destroyed around 80-90% of the mangoes in many fields. There are around 2 lakh mango growers in Kolar district.
“Farmers were happy and ready to harvest the mangoes, but then the hailstorm lashed the fields. They have to endure great losses now, as around 50-60% of the fruits fell down after the rain,” said Nalini Gowda A., who heads the Kolar District Farmer’s Association’s women wing.
She added that even those who had already booked mangoes directly from the farmers would also not pay the full amount now, as the rain ruined the quality of the fruits.
This has now also raised questions about the availability of mangoes for various districts and the mega mango mela which is scheduled in the next few weeks.
The gusty winds also took a toll on other horticulture crops in the district. “Tomatoes, capsicum, and many flower crops were majorly affected,” said Ms. Gowda.