Hit by Severe Drought, King of Fruits to Cost a Bomb this Summer – The New Indian Express

Express News Service    Published: 27th March 2016 06:27 AM

Last Updated: 27th March 2016 06:27 AM

HYDERABAD: The king of fruits ‘mango’ will be costlier this season, as mango production has been hit severely due to drought this year.

The mango season has just begun and mango farmers from all parts of state have started bringing their produce to Gaddiannaram Fruit Market for the past one week. Though a stream of lorries carrying mangoes can be spotted in the early hours at market, the quantity of produce being brought to market is very low this year when compared with last year.

“Mango season starts in the second half of March and goes on till the end of May. It will reach its peak during mid April and mid May. Right now, we are getting about 30 to 40 lorries of mangoes a day but it is very less when compared with the average arrivals. Though the number of arrivals will increase from now, we are not expecting a vibrant season as crop was hit due to drought,” said V Yellaiah, Deputy Director of Marketing, Gaddiannaram Fruit Market.

Mangoes are cultivated mostly in Medak, Mahbubnagar, Khammam, Ranga Reddy  districts in Telangana which are mostly being brought to Gaddiannaram market for sale by farmers. Even mangoes from neighbouring AP state are also brought to the market.

While mangoes are cultivated in about 12 lakh hectares in Telangana on an average every year, this year it has decreased to about 6.5 lakh hectares, estimate horticulture scientists.

“Southern Telangana, especially districts like Medak have apt climate and soil conditions for mango cultivation. As a result, Telangana has emerged as one of the major mango producing states. Mango cultivation accounts for 22 per cent of total area under fruit cultivation in the state and it is cultivated in about 1.2 million hectares on an average every year. But due to severe drought conditions, this is set to decrease drastically,” explained Dr Pidigam Saidaiah, assistant professor, Sri Konda Laxman Telangana State Horticultural University.

According to the previous crop patterns in state, Telangana produces about 12 million tonnes of mangoes per year and price in retail market used to be in the range of Rs  30 to Rs 50 depending upon the variety and quality. But with production itself decreasing by 50 per cent, the rate of mangoes is set to peak this time.

Dasheri, Himayat, Imam Pasand, Pedda Rasalu and Chinna Rasalu are some of the early varieties which are brought to the market. According to the price fixed by Gaddiannaram Fruit Market authorities, one tonne of mangoes were sold at Rs 60,000 on Saturday. With wholesale price itself hovering around Rs 60 per kg, retail price is set to further soar high, thus making a mango bite a costly affair this summer.

Heavy on pocket

Production decreased by 50 per cent this year due to severe drought

As the mango season just started, the wholesale price hovers around Rs 60 per kg

Early varieties like Dasheri, Himayat, Imam Pasand, Pedda Rasalu started reaching the markets from orchards

Source: Hit by Severe Drought, King of Fruits to Cost a Bomb this Summer – The New Indian Express

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