BHAWANIPATNA: Kalahandi’s mango growers will soon have a sweet time. Under duress for lack of marketing facilities, their produce is heading for a hot sale in branded packs. The district’s soil and climatic conditions are favourable for mango cultivation, particularly in highland.
In fact, the hilly tracks of Thuamul Rampur, Lanjigarh, Bhawanipatna and M Rampur blocks are the most suitable areas for mango cultivation. Apart from the hybrid varieties, as many as 40 desi species of mangoes are grown in the district with each type being famous for its flavour and sweetness.
The farming of the king of fruits has also bearings on the tribal economy to a great extent. Processed items from the fruit like ambula, amsula (champabati) and ampati (ambasada) are consumed and sold by the tribals. Ambula is prepared from sour varieties of mango in raw stage while champabati is made from sweet varieties in raw stage.
An assessment of the Horticulture wing pegs the total mango production at more than 50,000 tonne. But lack of an organised market forces farmers to sell their produce at throwaway price to middlemen.
In a bid to help the farmers the major road block, Kalahandi wing of ORMAS is coordinating with brands like Mother Dairy, Reliance Fresh and the dealers in Raipur terminal market to sell hybrid mango varieties like Amrapali, Alphanso, Lengra, Malika, Dusehri and Baiganpalli that are grown here through Farmer Producer Cooperative Society, said Assistant Director of district unit of ORMAS George Kerketta.
Representatives of Mother Dairy are assessing the quality of mangoes that would be procured this year.In the first phase, mangoes from farmers who cultivated mangoes with support of WADI - a NABARD funded Tribal Development Programme - and Horticulture Department will be procured. The initial target is 100 tonne and the procurement will begin next week. Target will be enhanced considering the success of the initiative.
Deputy Director of Horticulture, Kalahandi, Sudhakar Sahu said some of the local varieties, which are most sought after are Akhurasa, Nabat, Kadalipheni, Hati Mund, Rasunia, Khandual, Mendha Mund, Dahi Pakhal, Lethi, Jharan, Kancha Suadi, Kalabainsi, Turi, Rapali, Rajabhog and Sagada Kata.