BANGALORE: For the first time, the state horticulture department will conduct a Mango Mela across 30 districts, including Bangalore. “The department will conduct the Mela in the 30 districts to create a direct marketing platform for individual farmer groups. The event, which happens every year in Bangalore will take place in the last week of May and continue till June,” said Additional Director of Department of Horticulture (Fruits) S P Hittalamani.
Saniha Krishnamurthy, a resident of Kumara Park in Bangalore, said he was looking forward to the Mango Mela. “On the onset of summer, we always look forward to eating mangoes. It is disappointing to see no mangoes in the market yet, but I always await the mango mela,” he said.
However, the department, which initially expected the fruit to hit the markets by mid-April, estimated an annual production of three lakh tonnes.
However, now it is said that mango production this year will be around five lakh tonnes owing to increased flowering.
“Last year, mango production had touched a whopping eight lakh tonnes and this year being an off-season, production will be low and comparatively prices will shoot up by about 25 per cent,” said Hittalamani.
He added that different varieties of mangoes ranging from Sindhura will hit the market followed by Raspuri, Malgoa, Alphonso and Neelam.
“The demand, however, remains high for Alphonso which is expected to hit the market by the second week of May,” Hittalamani added. “With unprecedented weather conditions delaying flowering till late February this year, ripening took time and will hit the market late,” said president of Chintamani Mango Growers’ Association Srinivas Gowda.
However, Gowda said excess flowering will not result in good yields as many mangoes are falling before ripening. Srinivaspura and Chintamani in Kolar together produce around 40 per cent of the total mango production in the state. Karnataka is well-known for varieties like Banaganapalli, Alphonso and Mallika.