People throng fruit mela at Lalbagh

People throng fruit mela at Lalbagh

People throng fruit mela at Lalbagh

People from different parts of City came in droves on the first day of the nearly a month-long mango and jackfruit mela that began at Lalbagh on Friday.

Besides making purchases they were also learning about different varieties of mangoes available and areas they are grown.

The varieties which drew large crowds were Alphonso, Omlet, Kalapahad and Sugarbaby (Sakraiguthi) mangoes and Topugheri jackfruit.

The mela and sale, being held from May 23 to June 15, 2014 at Lalbagh, is organised by Horticulture Department, Karnataka State Mango Development and Marketing Federation, University of Agricultural Sciences- Bangalore, Indian Institute for Horticultural Research and Hopcoms.

Shoppers were seen carrying huge fruit bags and tasting varied varieties at all stalls.
Virupaskhayya H V, a Whitefield resident, visits the mela on the first day.

“We never miss coming here. I have been coming here since last four years and am very happy with the varieties. Compared to last year they are more.”

Prasad B K S, resident of Banashankari III Stage, was accompanied by his daughters.
He said: “stalls and rates are almost the same as last time. We never miss the mela.

It was a good opportunity for my daughters to learn about fruits and farmers.”

Around 90 stalls have been set up.  Most farmers are from Kolar, others from Ramanagara, Chitradurga, Shimoga and Tumkur. All fruits sold are organically grown.
Most farmers complained that crops were spoilt, size and yield reduced because of inadequate rains in Kolar, Tumkur and surrounding districts.

But some were happy with rains.  Venkateshappa, farmer from Chikkaballapur said, rains were good, so Alphanso crop was good.

N R Chinnapa Reddy, farmer from Kolar and Mango Growers’ Association, Secretary said: “I, along with many other farmers, have been setting up stalls here since the mela started (from 2004). We come here as profits are more compared to market sales, despite rates being fixed by Hopcoms.”

Horticulture Minister Shamanur Shivashankarappa, inaugurating the mela said: “During the Cabinet expansion if government decides to drop me its fine. I will take an helicopter and go to Davangere. We have lost elections because of Modi Tsunami. The decision rests with chief minister.

He said ministerial berth is nobody’s family property. He said crops had been destroyed due to inadequate rains. The Centre has granted Rs 82 crore for crop loss and State government’s share is Rs 25,000 per hectare.

Crops on 1,800 hectares of land have been destroyed till now. The damage had been estimated at Rs 513 crore, he said.