BENGALURU: There couldn’t be better news for mango lovers this season. The king of fruits will arrive one-and-a-half months earlier, there will be more of them, they won’t pinch your pockets and you could enjoy them for a good six months this time.
While Karnataka produces 7.5 lakh tonnes during season, this year production is expected to rise by a lakh to 8.5 lakh tonnes due to a variety of reasons. Experts say this is due to early flowering because of less rain. Flowering was seen in November as against January every year. The mangoes are also expected to be 30 per cent cheaper.
Dr S V Hittalamani, veteran horticulture scientist, said, “Mangoes will hit the market by March 15, which is a good 45 days ahead of its usual arrival. Normally, mangoes arrive only in the last week of April. We are expecting 50,000 tonnes of mangoes between March 15 and April 15 this year. It’s a bonanza.” The quality of these fruits will be good too, he added.
Karnataka is one of the top mango producers in the country. Mangoes are grown on 1.7 lakh hectares in 16 districts, including Kolar, Chikkaballapura, Dharwad, Ramanagara and others. The quality and quantity of mangoes depends mainly on rain.
Hittalamani said, “As there is no water, moisture stress causes trees to have floral and not vegetative growth. This is an unusual scenario. In many places across Karnataka, farmers also protected flowers by spraying chemicals.”