Mango growers' stocks pile up in shuttered markets

Mango growers in deep water as stocks pile up in shuttered markets

The ongoing 'close-down' has come at a time when most of the mango yield hits the market

Karnataka has imposed lockdown-like curbs for two weeks in the state to contain the spread of Covid-19. Credit: DH Photo

Mango growers are worried because the stocks in the market aren't being cleared in view of the Covid restrictions. 

The ongoing "close-down" has come at a time when most of the mango yield hits the market. 

Authorities have taken steps to sell the mangoes online while Hopcoms has promised to hold Mango Mela, the annual festival, to drive up the sales. 

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The Karnataka State Mango Development and Marketing Board’s online portal has helped sell 4.5 tonnes of mango, which are delivered to consumers through India Post. 

Farmers, however, say these efforts were not enough to sell the fruits which have started arriving in the market. They want special facilities to clear the stock. “Despite the untimely rain affecting the crop, I have seen a good yield. I had hoped to bring it to the market next week. However, I don’t know how to sell tonnes of the crop amid the rising Covid cases,” said Hanumanta Reddy, a grower from Kolar. 

He said the Mango Mela, held in various parts of Bengaluru, had proven to be a great avenue for marketing mango while the remaining yield was taken to the open market. “The markets are restricted. Even the public is not in a mood to buy fruits like earlier. Only the government can help the mango growers,” he said. 

A senior official in the mango board said the pandemic had thwarted their plans to hold the mela. “We are discussing alternative platforms,” he said. 

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E-City market gets 5,000 tonnes per day

The fruit market at Singena Agrahara near Electronics City has been receiving a minimum of 5,000 tonnes mango every day, according to the Karnataka Wholesale Mango Traders Association's Syed Mahboob. "The supply is a little higher than the previous year but the demand has dropped," he said. 

Mahboob said different varieties of the fruit would  arrive in the market by the end of May. "Earlier, we used to export mangoes to the United States, Britain, Iran and Saudi Arabia. We can't do that this time due to restrictions," he added.