JEYPORE: Radhanath Bhatta, a marginal farmer of Dangar Paunsi village under Kundra block, owns a mango orchard over 20 acres of land.
This year he spent Rs 2 lakh on fertiliser application and irrigation hoping for a good yield. However, he could get only 25 per cent of the total crop.
Blame it on frequent gale and rain, mango crops in Koraput district have suffered extensive damage this year.
Farmers of Jeypore, Kundra, Kotpad, Borrigumma, Lamtaput, Semiliguda, Dasmantpur, Koraput and Laxmipur areas had cultivated Alphanso, Amrapali, Dusseri, Lengada, Totapalli, Neelam and Hapus mango varieties.
At least, 300 mango cultivators, have this year been affected by gale and rain.
While over 2,000 tonnes of mangoes are produced every year in the district, this time the yield has been low as thunderstorm accompanied with strong winds damaged the crops thus increasing its price in the local markets.
A kg of mango is being sold at Rs 35 per kg at wholesale points while in local markets it is sold at Rs 50 per kg which is all-time high in the last one decade in the district.
Last year, its price was Rs 20 per kg during May and June.
While the fruits were at reaping stage, hailstorms and rain posed a big challenge for the farmers. About 60 per cent of the crops have been damaged due to thundershowers.
With a majority of the crops diverted to coastal districts and States like Nagpur, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, there is little left to meet the local demand.
“This year, the production has been extremely low due to frequent thunderstorm and rain. Unlike paddy, there is no provision for crop insurance or compensation in case of mangoes”, lamented Chita Satpathy, a mango grower of Kundra.
Mango, the main summer fruit crop, is grown over 1,200 hectares of land across the district for its suitable soil and conducive environment.
Although a farmer spends around Rs 3,000 per acre of mango crop depending on variety of the fruit, he does not get any compensation in case of damage of crops from the state government.
This apart, no banks give loans to farmers for mango cultivation.
“We have to invest our savings in growing mangoes but in case of crop loss, government does not extend any help to us”, said Bhatta, adding he had expected crop yield of Rs 5 lakh this year.
There is no food processing unit in the district to process the damaged fruits.
Though farmers of the district have been requesting the officials of Horticulture wing to cover mango under farm insurance policy, no step has been taken in this regard.
Rough weather including thunderstorm accompanied by strong winds in the last two months, has damaged mango crops, giving sleepless nights to farmers
Bad weather reduced the mango yield to 40 per cent of the total production
A kg of mango is being sold at `35 per kg at wholesale points while in local markets it is sold at `50 per kg