BANGALORE: The Department of Horticulture on Friday inaugurated a month-long mango and jackfruit mela at the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens.
Plenty of mango varieties including Alphonso or Badami, Omlette, Dusheri, Sakkaregutti, Amarapalli, Mallika, Sindhura, Raspuri, Malgova, Kesar, Totapuri and Banaganapalli are on sale.
Speaking at the inauguration of the mela, where over 90 farmers from across the state have set up stalls, Shamanur Shivashankarappa, Minister for Horticulture, said the fruits being sold at the exhibition were all organically grown and were carbide-free. “They are available at low cost as they are being directly sold by the farmers to consumers,” he said.
The Minister added that nearly 1,800 hectares of mango plantation was lost this year leading to a loss of Rs 513 crore. He noted that while Rs 82 crore came as relief from the Centre, the State government is providing Rs 25,000 as compensation per hectare. Further, a release said that inadequate rainfall had affected mango output this year and it stood at 3.54 lakh tonnes.
Mango and jackfruit growers, who had put up stalls, echoed the same. Siddappa, who is selling jackfruits brought in from Doddballapur, said, “We had lesser number of fruits to bring in this year because there wasn’t enough rain. The size of each pod is also smaller as a result,” he said. Mango grower Chandrashekhar said, “The produce was badly hit this time as there were no rains.” He expects to sell at least 1,000 kg each day and even more over weekends.
Mangoes are available at costs ranging between Rs 30 and Rs 80 per kg. Even jackfruit varieties of Toobugere, Suriya Halasu, Chandra Halasu, Swarna and Janagere are being sold at Rs 12 to 30 per dozen pods. The exhibition attracted several enthusiastic consumers on the very first day. Kamala, a resident of Jayanagar has been visiting the mela for over three years, and comes mainly to buy her favourite variety of Kesar mango. “I usually buy mangoes from here for my immediate and extended family and even friends. It is a great experience to taste so many varieties under one roof,” she said.
The exhibition will be held till May 30 and the mela ends on June 15. Visitors can go between 8 am and 7 pm. R Jayaprakash, Managing Director of Karnataka State Mango Development and Market Corporation said that the exhibition had 90 participating growers from Kolar, Ramanagar, Doddballapur, Chikballapur, Chitradurga, Shimoga and Tumkur.