NELLORE: The low prices at which the mango pulp suppliers and juice traders are buying mangoes this year have added to the woes of mango farmers, who are already disappointed due to low yield this season.
These traders have been purchasing local grade mangoes for Rs 4.5 to Rs 5.5 per kilo this season, as against Rs 15 last year and the Banginapalli mangoes for Rs 25 per kilo, as against Rs 35 to Rs 50 last year. Mangoes have been cultivated in upland areas such as Gudur, Rapur, Naidupet, Venkatagiri, Sangam, Kaligiri, Vinjamur, AS Peta, and other mandals.
The crop is generally cultivated in an area of 10,000 hectares, but this year the area has got reduced by close to 50 per cent. However, this season the mango growers had planned to increase the area of cultivation by another 5,000 hectares, but the plan could not be implemented due to hostile weather conditions.
As happened in the last year, this year too the mango growers have been hit by acute shortage of rainfall. Due to 53 per cent deficit rainfall, the mango growers faced difficulties in watering their orchards even once in a month.
As a result of this the yield per hectare took a hit. Ideally a grower can expect eight to 10 tonnes of mangoes per hectare, but this year the average yield is unlikely to cross five tonnes, mainly due to unfavourable weather conditions. Despite the popularity of the fruit and high demand in the market, farmers are unhappy because of steep price fluctuations. In the district, Banginapalli variety of mango is being cultivated in 80 per cent of the cultivable area as returns are better in this variety of mango.
Banginapalli is obliquely oval with an unblemished golden yellow thin edible skin and the pulp is fibreless, firm and yellow with sweet taste. “I had raised mango orchards in around 30 acres. I had invested Rs 25,000 per acre on the crop. Juice traders and pulp suppliers have been quoting very low prices. We are forced to sell the crop to them,” said V Kamaiah, a farmer.
A disappointing summer
- The mango farmers are upset over low yield and lament that prices prevailing in the market are not sufficient to recover even the investments they have made.
- The activity at local markets is not encouraging. The poor arrivals have led to sky-high prices and disappointing the mango lovers