Gujarat's kesar mangoes may become history

Gujarat's kesar mangoes may become history

Gujarat's kesar mangoes may become history

Talala taluka of Junagadh district is famous for Kesar mangoes but this year the story seems to be different. The mango growers are a dejected lot and have even given up the idea of the cultivation of the fruit. Some have even resorted to hire JCB machines (earthmovers) to clear their mango orchards.

Mango production has been on a decline especially in the last five years and this year it is not just a decline in the production there has also been a dip in the prices. And this reason has led the farmers to conclude that it is no longer a profit making venture. Speaking to Deccan Herald, H Jasania, secretary of Talala mango yard, said: “This season has been the worst in the last five years, with the production in the entire taluka being merely 15-20 per cent of the normal level.’’ He added that it was the dip in the prices which have demotivated the farmers completely and beacuse of that farmers, who have been cultivating mango from the last 15-20 years, have lost hope.

Mangoes produced here are purchased by neighbouring Maharashtra and Rajasthan and there is a demand amongst the non-resident Gujaratis. Speaking about the crisis, a farmer Dayabhai Sojitra said: “Small farmers who used to earn Rs 3-4 lakh every season are now earning just Rs 40,000. It has led to a livelihood crisis.’’ Citing the reasons for the dip, he said the season was also difficult for the farmers due to the dispute between farmers and mango traders.  “The traders wanted 10 per cent commission from the farmers and they refused to pay that,’’ said Jasania. He added that the farmers had approached the state government but no help has come forward. So as a last resort, farmers had to trade in the private market where the prices were much lower than that of a yard. He said that the farmers had to give up their profit and sell the box containing 10kgs between Rs 100 and Rs 400 which otherwise through a yard they fetch at least three times the price.

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