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Dip in mango output expected this season

Sharath S. Srivatsa

Fruit to flood the market in the first week of May


It was estimated that the State will produce more than 8 lakh tonnes this season

With extreme heat and low moisture condition, output is likely to be 6 lakh tonnes


— File photo: N. Sridharan

Mouth-watering: Despite the expected drop, mango production will still be higher than the last year, according to Additional Director of Horticulture (Fruits) S.V. Hittalmani.

Bangalore: The king of fruits seems to be at the receiving end this year too as extreme heat condition in the mango-growing belt in March and April is set to bring down the State's output by a whopping 2 lakh tonnes.

While officials initially estimated that the State would produce more than 8 lakh tonnes, extreme heat and low moisture in these months is expected to reduce the output to around 6 lakh tonnes. The officials had drawn the initial estimates after visiting the mango farms across the state during the flowering season – January and February.

Farmers too were expecting a bumper crop this year since it is ‘On Year' when the output is high. The previous On Year was in 2009 when the State produced around 8 lakh tonnes. 2010 was an ‘Off Year' for the State when production was less than 2.5 lakhs tonnes.

“We are expecting a drop in production by 15 to 20 per cent from the initial estimates. The last two months marked high temperature and low moisture period, resulting in flower drops,” Additional Director of Horticulture (Fruits) S.V. Hittalmani told The Hindu. Despite the drop in production, mango production would still be higher than the last year and prices are expected to be low, he added.

Not only has the crop been affected by weather this year, the attack of Mango Hoppers soon after the flowering season too will hit the produce, farmers complained. Mango is cultivated in Kolar, Bangalore Rural, Ramanagaram, Mysore, Belgaum, Tumkur and other places.“Farmers were very happy after the flowering season as they had not witnessed such flowering in the recent past. However, flowers started dropping and even fruits dropped when the Hoppers attacked,” K. Srinivas Gowda, a mango grower from Chintamani in Kolar district said. Growers of Raspuri, Alphonso, Malgova and Bainganpalli have suffered crop losses, he said.

Meanwhile, mango lovers may have to wait for some time to get good quality mangoes as Alphonso and Raspuri are expected to hit the market late. Some quantity of Sendhur and Totapuri has already arrived.

“Since flowering was delayed and happened in two stages in January and February, the crop is expected only by the first week of May,” Mr. Hittalamani said. Mangoes that have arrived in the market are from the early flowering trees and are not of good quality, he added.

With the varieties such as Sendhura making an entry into the market, fancy prices are being quoted. The retail price for a kg of Sendhura here is around Rs. 90 now which is expected to come down when arrivals pick up.

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