INDIA 2016 : Mango production in state likely to take a hit this year

TNN | May 22, 2016, 12.32 PM IST

Mangaluru: Vagaries of nature is expected to take a toll on the production of King of Fruits - Mango - in Karnataka this year. A combination of failure of pre-monsoon showers at the flowering and growth stage and spike in temperature in mango growing belt of the state is expected to limit the total production of mango to an estimated 12 lakh tonnes in the current season as against 14 lakh tonnes in the last calendar year.

However, the good news for fruit lovers is that this could see price of mangoes across varieties decrease marginally by 2-3%. This is mainly on account of 'import' of the fruit from other mango-growing states in India, said M Kamalakshi Rajanna, chairperson, Karnataka State Mango Development and Marketing Corporation Ltd.

Karnataka is the third largest mango-growing state in India after Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Inaugurating a two-day Vasanthotsava organized by Shivarama Karantha Pilikula Nisargadhama and the Corporation at Pilikula Nisargadhama on Saturday, Kamalakshi said the lack of an export hub in Karnataka has forced the state to concede the second spot (in mango production) to Maharashtra. "Most mangoes produced in north Karnataka are exported via Maharashtra and this has given us the impetus to develop mango market domestically within the state," she noted.

"We have urged the Centre to provide us with an export gateway for mango in Karnataka,"
she said, adding there is a good demand for mangoes grown in the state in Australia, US, Europe and Malaysia. A total of 4,576 farmers from Karnataka have registered themselves with Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority, enabling them to directly export the fruit after obtaining statutory clearances from the authority, including plant quarantine certificate.

With each mango-importing nation insisting on their own set of tests, the corporation has entered in to a memorandum of understanding with a Malur-based biopark to carry out necessary battery of tests.

"The biopark charges Rs 80 for these tests, and the corporation through the government provides a 50% subsidy to the registered farmers to help boost exports,"
she said. 

The tests vary from vapour heat treatment to gamma irradiation that are demanded by nations such as Japan and US, she said.

In a bid to popularize the fruit domestically, the corporation has organized mango melas in 20 districts,"
she said, adding this ensures direct farmer-customer interface, avoiding middlemen altogether. 

The corporation provides a slew of incentives, including grants to farmers to grow this crop on a larger scale and even incentivizes them to pack and market the crop on their own through subsidies for packing houses, she said.