Rain-hit mango, jackfruit mela, evokes lukewarm response

Rain-hit mango, jackfruit mela, evokes lukewarm response

First-ever expo sees farmers incurring losses as fruits rot

The mango and jackfruit mela, organised for the first time in the city, failed to evoke a good response from people. A continuous drizzle in the past week has also played spoilsport as it has kept customers away.

The forest department personnel feel their efforts have literally gone wasted. The mela, which was organised to provide the much-needed platform for mango growers of the district, failed to attract customers. The fruits were left to rot causing huge losses to farmers.

As the district has no proper marketing system for mangoes, the Horticulture department, in association with the Mango Development and Marketing Board, had organised a seven-day mela at Hasanamba Kalakshetra. The Horticulture department had released Rs 2.50 lakh for the purpose and had opened 15 stalls on the premises.

Mango growers from Kolar, Channarayapatna, Ramnagaram and Srinivasapura and also local growers participated in the mela. Rasapuri, badami, sindhura, mallika, and totapuri were sold at prices ranging from Rs 20 to Rs 100 per kg. Organically grown mangoes were also sold at a discount of 15 to 20%.

The lukewarm response, however, left the organisers disappointed. Although Saturday is the last day for the mela, four stalls were closed on Thursday itself as there were no takers. Even jackfruits had begun to rot leaving the farmers upset.

Javed of Kolar told DH that he had brought 50,000 fruits of which 20,000 fruits were destroyed due to rotting. He could not sell even two kgs of mangoes per day, he rued.

Mangoes are cultivated on 2,861 hectares of land across the district to produce 24,983 metric tonnes of mangoes every year. The government also pays an incentive of Rs 20,000 per hectare to encourage mango growers.

Farmer Chowdegowda of Kolar said that he had brought a large quantity of fruits hoping to do good business but instead incurred a loss of Rs 20,000 in the past six days. Chowdegowda said he would try to sell the fruits at the available price as Saturday was the last day of the mela.

Deputy Director for Horticulture B Sanjay said that the mango and jackfruit mela had not evoked a good response this year as the weather had played spoilsport.

He said people are hesitating to buy the fruits as it is raining. The mela will be organised in the month of May next year, he said.

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