Society

Post office to deliver mangoes in Bengaluru

Amidst the news that 2020 is not a very good year for mangoes, the Karnataka State Mango Development and Marketing Corporation (KSMDMC) has made arrangements to supply mangoes to consumers through the post office. Although the KSMDMC tried to make this possible two weeks ago, the lockdown slowed things down.

“The postal department has agreed to deliver mangoes from April 17,” says CG Nagaraj Managing Director, KSMDMC. “The mango harvesting has begun, albeit on a smaller scale. We will see only 50 % mangoes this year. The flowering has been dull for many reasons, including the early rain.”

From April 17, consumers can order on http://karsirimangoes.karnataka.gov.in for mangoes directly from farmers. “Nearly two dozen farmers have registered with the portal to supply to various parts of the city. The mangoes are free from the cancer-causing calcium carbide used for ripening. They are naturally ripened or come from KSMDMC-approved ripening chambers that use natural ethylene gas for ripening — a process accepted worldwide.”

One can choose from between three-kilogram boxes of Badami, Sindhura and Raspuri varieties. Once Ramanagara, one of the largest mango-growing districts in Karnataka, opened up for Traders’ Trade at the Agricultural Producers Marketing Cooperative (APMC), the KSMDMC got into the act for supply to Bengaluru. “Over the last two weeks, we have supplied five tonnes of mangoes to apartments in Raja Rajeshwari Nagar. As the postal department could not supply two weeks ago, we asked the farmers to supply directly so fruit does not go waste. It was a big success and we plan to do this in several areas of the city.”

However, each apartment or layout has to order 250 kilograms to make it viable for the farmers who transport mangoes in trucks. “The fruit will be delivered at the gate in accordance with social distancing norms. We already have orders for 10 tonnes from Resident Member Associations.”

Karnataka is the third largest grower of mangoes after Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, with nearly 100 varieties grown across 1.8 lakh hectares in 15 districts — Kolar, Chickballapur, Tumakuru, Hassan, Bengaluru Rural and Bengaluru Urban, Belagavi, Dharwad, Haveri, Chitradurga, Chikkamangaluru, Bidar, Raichur, Kalaburagi and Ramanagara. As of now only Ramanagara has opened up as Badami, Sindhura and Raspuri are harvested early. While Dharwad, Belgaum, Haveri, Gadag and Koppal will soon start harvesting their native Alphonso, Badami, Kolar and Chikkaballapura will open up in May and June, with Benishan (Banganapalli), Badami, Mallika, Totaputri and Neelam.

“Flowering has reduced, so the yield of Malgova and Mallika also will be only 40 % compared to last year. We will make up is with Totapuri, as it is a high-yielding hardy crop,” says Nagaraj, indicating that there would be a 30 % increase in prices too, owing to both reduction in crop and the lockdown demands of transportation.”

Instead of the usual 12 lakh metric tonnes that every good season has produced, Karnataka will be down to about 6.5 to 7 lakh metric tonnes this year. “The native varieties will trickle in depending on what the farmers have planted.”

Return of the native

Amongst the oldest native surviving mango varieties are Thopu, Kohri, Kajri, Gundu Maavu, Jeerige maavu,” says senior horticulture scientist of the Horticulture Department, SV Hittalmani. Dakshina Kannada region has Mundappa, Kumta Honnavara and Bhatkal in Uttara Kannada there is Kari Eshad, Dharwad has Baalemaavu and Sakkareguthi is available all over the State. South Canara has Appe Maavu and Nekkere in Kodagu, Hassan and Sakleshpur.

Karnataka has nearly 1,000 varieties of wild mangoes and nearly 150 of them are of the pickling variety, says AN Yellappa Reddy, author, tree expert, and former Administrator of Forests. Apart from the KSMDMC, The Indian Institute of Horticulture Research (IIHR) also has preserved and conserved more than 1,000 varieties in commercial, non-commercial, wild and semi-wild varieties of mango.

Call KSMDMC on 9449352139 / 9480885800 for orders

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Printable version | Aug 10, 2020 12:30:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/post-office-to-deliver-mangoes-in-karnataka/article31339750.ece

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