BANGALORE: Relishing mangoes might not be the same this year.
If sources are to be believed, production of mango will be less than 40 per cent when compared with last year, due to drought in major mango growing areas across Karnataka.
In the state, Kolar and Chickballapur are the major mango growing centres.
This year, despite early flowering, the yield is expected to be low. The prices of the king of fruit, is expected to be very high.
However, the arrival of this fruit from Maharashtra is still not known. The Department of Horticulture has set a target production of 3 lakh tonnes of mangoes from within the state, as this is an ‘off-year’ for mango production.
Last year the mango production had touched a whopping 7 lakh tonne.
“Officials, after a survey on crop status, noticed fairly early flowering this year, which started by early December,” said S P Hittalamani, additional director (fruits), Karnataka Horticulture Department.
“Despite early flowering, there is an additional risk of not much of moisture in the soil, so the production will be further hit if there is untimely rainfall, he said.
The mangoes are expected to hit the market by mid- April.
Raspuri and Alphonso varieties may be available early, and in large quantities followed by Mallika and Thotapuri. Sources said, availability of Malgoba fruit will be less this year. The prices are expected to go up by 50-70 per cent this year, as compared to last year. Kolar and Chickkaballapura districts contribute to around 40 percent of the total production.
The government in 2011, had earmarked Rs 10 crore for the Mango Development Board (MDB) to be set up in the state, to provide relief to the farmers to establish marketing linkages. However, the MDB is yet to be completed and is expected to be completed by April end in Srinivaspura and Chintamani