King of fruits feels the pandemic pinch

King of fruits

Given the lockdowns, mango growers in Telangana are unable to sell the fruit locally or elsewhere in the country.

Hyderabad: The dreaded Covid-19 pandemic has continued to cast a shadow on the sales of mangoes for the second consecutive year with most customers staying indoors to avoid contracting the virus, which is more virulent in the second wave.

Given the lockdowns, mango growers in Telangana are unable to sell the fruit locally or elsewhere in the country. Besides, they are also unable to export them abroad in the absence of cargo facilities.

The growers could sell mangoes to some extent last summer. However, the situation is more pathetic this time as the growers are not getting MSP with more mangoes arriving at the markets this season.

Marketing officials said the Gaddiannaram fruit market, the biggest for seasonal fruits in the State, is getting 1,200 tonnes of mangoes from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh daily. But the growers are unable to get a good price, leaving them at loss.

At present, one kg of ‘banginapalli’ mangoes is sold for a meagre price of Rs 25 to Rs 30 at the market while other vendors and hawkers are selling them for Rs 50 to Rs 60 a kg outside as against over Rs 100 last year. “For the last two years, the mango growers have been facing problems due to a dip in sales,” Gaddiannaram fruit market secretary P Praveen Reddy told ‘Telangana Today’.

He said the growers are finding it difficult to sell their yield, especially ‘banginapalli’, ‘himayat’, ‘rasaalu’ and other varieties, in Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana and other northern States due to the lockdown.

Officials of the Horticulture Department said one of the factors that contributed to the dip in sales in 2021 was the delay in harvesting. It was supposed to be completed by mid-April, but because of the extended rainy season that lasted till October in 2020, the flowering and fruiting got delayed. This resulted in a delay in mango arrivals to the markets, explained N Sunanda Rani, Horticulture and Sericulture Officer, Ranga Reddy.

The high yield of mangoes and delay in market arrival led to a drop in prices, she said, adding that mangoes are mostly grown in erstwhile Ranga Reddy, Karimnagar and Mahabubnagar districts. In Ranga Reddy, mangoes were grown in over 15,000 acres, especially in Ibrahimpatnam and Maheswaram mandals, she added.


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