Mango treatment plant delayed for want of land

Mango treatment plant delayed for want of land
The Karnataka State Mango Development and Marketing Corporation Limited (KSMDMCL) is searching for land to set up hot water treatment plant in Ramanagaram, to speed up the process of treating and exporting mangoes.

 The Corporation and mango growers are looking for land in Ramanagaram for more than six months to set up a hot water treatment plant, Kadre Gowda, Managing Director, KSMDMCL told DH on the sidelines of the mango-picking tour which was held on Saturday in Kolar and Ramanagaram.

“We cannot acquire farmers’ land for setting up the plant. Acquiring private land has become difficult as many are politically influential. Finding government land has become a major challenge. Some farmers sell their mangoes to private companies for treatment and sale, and some others send it to Innova Agri Bio Park Limited in Malur in Kolar district for treatment and sale,” explained another KSMDMCL official.

Hot water treatment of mangoes is mandatory before exporting them to many European and Gulf nations. The Corporation is keen to treat mangoes before the fruits hit the domestic market also, as it kills insects and ensures that customers get good quality fruit.

Hot water treatment units are coming up in Chintamani in Chikkaballapur district and Hubballi. But one is needed in Ramanagaram, where 17,000 hectares of land is under mango cultivation, Gowda pointed.

The KSMDMCL has made many requests to the state government, seeking help in identifying land but in vain. Gowda said that though mango production has taken a beating this year because of drought, the export demand has increased because of the quality of the produce. Last year, Karnataka produced 13 lakh metric tonnes of mangoes of which 6,975 metric tonnes was exported. This year, the yield is expected to be around 10 lakh metric tonnes and the KSMDMCL expects to export the same quantity as last year.

Farmers from Ramanagaram and Kolar sold around two tonnes of mangoes to the 200 tourists from Bengaluru at their fields on Saturday. This was the second tour organised by the KSMDMCL this season. Last week, one tour was organised to Chikkaballapur, where consumers purchased around 800 kg of mangoes directly from farmers.

The next visit will be to Chintamani in Chikkaballapur district on May 7.

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