BENGALURU: Karnataka is in for a bumper mango harvest this year, with production expected to increase by three-four lakh tonnes compared with 2013-14.
In 2013-14, the production was 8 lakh tonnes. However, this year, the harvest is expected to go up to 11-12 lakh tonnes, according to Karnataka Mango Development Board director, Kamalakshi Rajanna.
“The government is showing a lot of interest in the cultivation of mangoes. Subsidies are being given for mango farmers in the state. Marketing opportunities, which were less earlier, have been given a fillip. Farmers are growing mangoes voluntarily, and I feel it will be a good produce this year. We will have a clear idea when the mango season begins at the end of March and at the beginning of May,” Kamalakshi said.
She said the Board had applied for a trademark for mango production in Chennai. “This will help in giving mangoes from the state an identity, and will also help in marketing. Last year, we organised four mango melas. This year, we plan to increase it to around six-seven melas across the state,” she added.
The total area under cultivation has also increased. While last year it was around 1.6 lakh hectares, this year, it is 1.8 lakh hectares. Karnataka is also one of the major mango producing states in the country, the others being Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
The main varieties of mangoes grown in the state are Badami, Banganapalli, Mallika, Sindhura, Malgova, Totapuri, Neelam, Amrapali and Kesar.
While Badami, Banganapalli and others will start as early as in the second week of May, Totapuri and Neelam will come in late. The major areas in the state where mangoes are grown include Belagavi, Karwar, Dharwad, Haveri, Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Tumakuru and Mysuru.
The Board has taken several initiatives to boost the production of mangoes in the state. These include the disbursal of micro-nutrients for soil enrichment, the installation of pheromone traps (to ensure better fruit quality), introduction of sealer-cum-healer (a formulation that controls and protects the tree from borer damage and helps in tree rejuvenation), and the usage of plastic crates during transportation, as a majority of the produce gets affected during transportation.
Kamalakshi said that though the state had lost around 4,000 acres of mango orchards due to irregular rainfall and other natural causes, there was no cause for concern as such losses were common.
“The shrinkage of land will not have any adverse affect on the mango produce,” she said.