VIJAYAWADA: Horticulture Department in association with Go Aadharika Prakruthi Vyavasadhurika, Dr. YSR Horticultural University and Mfarms organised a two-day Mango Festival at Siddhartha Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology here on Saturday.
“The event aims at educating farmers on organic farming and imparting entrepreneurship skills to them,” said Horticulture Department Assistant Director N Sujatha.
“The mango festival has gained significance in the wake of recent raids on retailers, who were adding chemicals to artificially ripen fruits,” said Prof Ajay Babu at Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies, Nuzvid.
Among 52 popular varieties of mangoes available in Kadapa, 18 were put on display at the Mango Festival. “We brought 18 of the best varieties from Kadapa,” said Dr. Y Sharath Kumar Reddy, a scientist at Dr. YSR Horticultural University.
Horticulture official Sujatha emphasised the need to educate farmers on marketing facilities. “We have an exclusive stall to educate farmers on packaging,” she said.
Mfarms founder Pavan Reddy said that his organisation focuses on educating farmers on marketing and latest farming methods. He said that he had set up a stall to educate farmers on packaging. Showing the way they have packed mangoes, he said that mangoes are wrapped in a cover with holes so that they don’t get spoiled.
The organisers have also planned to hold meetings with farmers to encourage the latter to use latest farming methods. “Agriculture experts and scientists will be invited to deliver lectures on advanced agricultural practices,” Sujatha said.
“We have distributed pamphlets with instructions on how to do pest control,” said Dr. G Sravanthi, an entomologist from Dr.YSR Horticultural University. She said that farmers are suffering crop losses due to pest attacks.
The organisers also rued that only 25 farmers have participated and added that 10 to 15 farmers could not show up due to various reasons. Farmers from Madhira, Adavinekkalam, Ulavapadu, Kavali, A Kunduru, G Kunduru, Gampalagudem, Nuzvid, and Agiripalli have come to the Mango Festival to sell their produce. “The sales are not that good today. We are expecting a good show at least on Sunday,” said G Babu, a stall owner.
“The mango festival provides a platform for farmers to showcase various varieties of mangoes. The mangoes seem to be delicious,” said S Kumar, a visitor at the mango festival.