The onset of summer is the start of the mango season, when traders ripen the fruit and sell it in the open market. A majority of traders resort to shortcut methods of ripening, instead of allowing them to ripen naturally.
This makes health conscious people think twice before buying the golden hued fruit. Hence, the Horticulture Department has chalked out several measures to avoid artificial ripening by using harmful chemicals like calcium carbide. The chemical is not only a grave hazard to health but is also carcinogenic. Officials are educating farmers about natural ripening methods by adopting low-cost technology. In the first phase, 1,250 farmers who have grown mangoes in 1,200 hectares are being trained on natural and fast ripening methods. The farmers are being educated on pre-harvester system, how to prevent diseases, how to trap fruit flies and much more as per the suggestions of the Indian Institute of Horticulture Research, Bangalore.
Farmers who ripen mangoes naturally will be provided an opportunity to take part in a mango mela, conducted by the horticulture department. Special training is being provided for hobli, taluk-level department officers and progressive farmers. Department deputy director H M Nagaraj said that to gain from an early market, large quantities of mangoes are being ripened artificially. In Mysore taluk, farmers grow mangoes at Hunsur, Nanjangud and H D Kote regions, followed by Periyapatna.