King of fruit to make delayed entry this season

Mango drought

King of fruit to make delayed entry this season

There is a drought of mangoes in Kolar district, considered the mango bowl in the State. The mangoes grown in more than 20,000 hectares in the district’s Srinivasapur taluk, are however facing a bleak scene. 

The problem started with dew during the blossoming season and then there was an attack of fruit flies. Even as it started yielding, hailstone and storm hit the fruits and as a result they started falling from the trees. Now most of the trees are bereft of the yield.
Mango is grown in 1,17,381 hectares in the State, out of which, it is grown in 40,769 hectares in Kolar district alone. That means more than 47 per cent of the mangoes is grown in this district. It is grown in 10,995 hectares in Mulbagal, in 3,352 hectares in Bangarpet, in 3,892 hectares in Kolar and 1,405 hectares in Malur.

Spoilsport

The blossoming completes by January every year. However, rains from December impeded the process this time. By February end flowers in few trees too withered due to rise in temperature.

They turned black due to fog. Fruit fly menace too started in the meantime. As most of the farmers did not take precaution, even a few of the flowers which had survived were affected. Major portion of mangoes, tomatoes and paddy in 362 acres of Srinivaspur taluk have been damaged, and the district administration has estimated the loss at Rs 1.48 crore. The yield of varieties like Benisha, Badami and Totapuri have been affected.

A 25-kg sack of these mangoes cost just Rs 30 to Rs 40. “As these mangoes are spoilt very soon, they do not fetch a good rate. The fruits that are on the trees are yet to ripen,” said Chowda Reddy, a farmer in Srinivaspur.

“For the growers, the mango crop is not at all profitable. During the season it gives employment opportunities to several category of people - keeping watch on the trees, spraying pesticides, picking and transporting the produce to market etc. But this time because of the fall in the yield, nearly 10,000 such people will be affected,” he regretted.

An official in the Horticulture Department said the yield would still increase in spite of fruit fall. However, rains in future days would spell doom for the produce and the growers are bound to suffer loss.

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