VISAKHAPATNAM: In an bid to make it convenient for the mango traders, a ripening chamber has been set up at the MVP Colony rythu bazaar in the city June last year. After the use of harmful chemical calcium carbide for artificial ripening of mangoes was banned last year, the traders have now replaced it with ethylene which hastens the ripening process.
Since for natural ripening, it takes 7 to 8 days, the artificial ripening by ethylene is being done in just 48 hours. Ethylene is a natural ripening hormone found in fruits like mangoes and bananas. But traders and farmers opine that it was a tedious procedure to wait for natural ripening. Hence, bulk of the mangoes is ripened in two days by using ethylene.
In an effort to support the farmers, an artificial ripening chamber was set up in the MVP rythu bazaar in June last year. Set up by the government, the funding of the artificial chamber was done by the Horticulture department and at present, it is given on lease to a private party.
Giving a briefing on the ripening chamber, horticulture consultant Y Naidu said the chamber has the capacity to ripen around 10 tonnes of mangoes at one go. As many as 25-35 kg of mangoes in plastic crates are placed in the chamber followed by the release of Ethylene gas, he added.
“Initially, we used Ethylene in liquid form to spray on mangoes by dissolving 10 ml of the hormone in 10 litres of water. Since it was not possible to spray equally, traces of ethylene remained in the fruits,” said a farmer in the rythu bazaar.
He also added that setting up of the chamber has helped ripen the mangoes uniformly as ethylene gas is being used. “After the first harvest, mangoes are ripened in the chamber. However, a technical problem that arose a few days ago will be fixed in two days. The other ripening chambers have been put up at Narsipatnam, Gopalapatnam and Yelamanchili,” the horticulture consultant said.