Andhra Pradesh: Untimely rains shatter hopes of Nuzvid mango growers

Taking advantage of the plight of farmers, the traders drastically reduced the prices. With no other option, the farmers are selling their yield at a loss.
Mango growers harvesting the fruits in Nuzvid town. (Photo I Express)
Mango growers harvesting the fruits in Nuzvid town. (Photo I Express)

VIJAYAWADA: Untimely rains shattered the hopes of Nuzvid mango farmers, who raised the crop in about 71,979 hectares of land in the erstwhile Krishna district expecting an average production of  9,35,727 metric tonnes. According to the official sources, the unseasonal rains in November and December impacted the mango flower and later, the untimely rains in May damaged the crop further infesting it with pests.

The infamous Nuzvid mango has its unique local market and export market. The crop in the mango orchards of Nuzvid town and its surroundings in the NTR district brings good income to the mango growers every year. Three varieties of mangoes, Totapuri, Banginapalli and Rasalu, are being grown in the regions of Nuzvid.

With favourable climatic conditions at the beginning of this year, the mango growers expected a market price between Rs 18,000 and Rs 30,000 per tonne based on variety and quality of fruit. But with the untimely rains, the prices of mangoes dropped to Rs 8,000-Rs 12,000, which is less than 50 per cent.

Taking advantage of the plight of farmers, the traders drastically reduced the prices. With no other option, the farmers are selling their yield at a loss. On the other hand, customers are queuing up in major markets like Vijayawada for mangoes. The price of mangoes in the market ranged from Rs 350 to Rs 650 per dozen. It is noteworthy that while in the fruit market of Kedarashwarapet in Vijayawada, the price of a dozen mangoes is Rs 350-Rs 500, but in Patamata Rythu Bazaar market the price ranges between Rs 450-Rs 750.

“We expected that the rates would be as high as Rs 23,000 depending on the variety, but we are forced to sell the crop at half rate. We are expecting a surge in prices in the months of June and July so that we can recover from piling debts,” said Basavaraju Nagesh Rao, a mango grower from Nuzvid.

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