DHENKANAL: The ambitious mango hub in the district is yet to provide benefits to farmers as the facility is yet to start operation even after its construction. The project includes storing, ripening chambers and grading and marketing facilities in view of huge production in Dhenkanal and its adjoining districts.
The hub, proposed in 2012, was set up at an estimated cost of `10 crore over five acres of land at Govindpur.
The Horticulture department was supposed to start procuring mangoes from farmers for sale in New Delhi through the hub. A company, Dhenkanal Fruits and Vegetable Marketing Company Ltd, was also created to operate the hub. It was supposed to collect mangoes from Dhenkanal and nearby districts. Though the infrastructure is ready, the decision to run the facility is yet to be taken at the State Government level. As a result, export to New Delhi has been delayed.
Meanwhile, the district administration has decided to open a Krushak Bazaar at Mahisapat Mela Ground from May 9 to sell mangoes. “We will open 20 stalls at the ground for farmers to sell different verities of mango. Despite repeated requests to the State Government to run the hub, no step has been taken yet. On April 18, a team from the Government inspected the facility and we hope it will start operation soon,” said Digamber Panda, Deputy Director of Horticulture.
He said the department had sold 32 tonnes of mangoes last year while the district produced more than 30,000 tonnes. This year, the district will produce not more than 15,000 tonnes due to climate change. Now-a-days, good quality mangoes are not produced in the district to export. A mango weighing more than 200 gm is fit for supply to Delhi markets and a farmer gets `20 to `25 per kg.However, this time farmers will get `35 at Krushak Bazaar, Panda added.
The farmers alleged that though the Government had assured lucrative price for mangoes and a research centre for them, no assistance is available for the community and they were left in lurch. Recently, local MLA Saroj Samal, who is also chairman of District Planning Committee, wrote to the State Government on the issue.