The two-day-old Honey and Mango Fest at Kanakakkunnu has fallen prey to the heavy summer rains that have been lashing the city.
Mango sales have not picked up much to the dismay of the growers’ associations, forcing some of them to freeze the arrival of additional consignments. On Tuesday, most of the stalls remained deserted as visitors were few and far between. This has badly hit sales, stall-keepers said.
‘’We have frozen the arrival of about 20 tonnes to the festival because of the present situation,’’ said Mohan Kumar, secretary of the Muthalamada Mango Growers’ Association.
The association represents mango farmers in Muthalamada, Palakkad, which is considered the ‘mango basket’ of the state.
Many of the participants have arrived in Thiruvananthapuram with 50 to 100 tonnes of mangoes hoping to cash in on the people’s craze for the fruit.
A group from Kanyakumari had arrived at the festival hoping to sell three tonnes a day, but now the farmers say they would consider themselves lucky if they can sell at least one tonne.
This year’s edition of the festival features some of the best mango varieties from across South India such as Alphonso, Kottoorkonam Varikka, Banganappally, Mallika and Himampasand. But the summers showers have dealt a heavy blow to the farmers and growers’ associations who have put up stalls here. And, adding to their grief, the lashing winds also brought down some of the pavilions.
Agriculture Minister K P Mohanan had inaugurated the festival, which will have on sale and display 140 varieties of mangoes, on Monday.
With the rain playing spoilsport, the organisers are toying with the idea of extending the festival by a few more days so that the farmers do not have to return empty-handed. ‘’The festival might carry on for two or three more days because of the diminished sales,’’ said K Prathapan, Director, State Horticulture Mission.
The festival was originally scheduled to conclude on May 11.