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India: Committees formed against calcium carbide ripeningThe Agriculture and Cooperative Department in Andrah Pradesh has issued orders relating to the creation of committees towards the goal of preventing use of calcium carbide for the ripening of mangoes.
Mangoes matured naturally, by being placed in hay and allowed to ripen gradually, are now being sold, albeit for a premium price.
Often mangoes are picked even before they are ready, in order that they can be transported to far off markets. However, in transit they share their space with carcinogenic sachets of calcium carbide to hasten the ripening process.
The Horticulture Department in a special drive is giving special incentives to small and marginal farmers for ripening of their fruit using ethylene gas. The mangoes that are plucked with the stalk using special harvesters and are subsequently de-sapped and ripened in ethylene ripening chambers are being sold at some selected centres.
Assistant Director Horticulture R.Rama Mohan said five tonnes that were meant to be sent to Hyderabad were retained for sale in the Swaraj Maidan for the benefit of mango lovers in the city at the request of Joint Collector Gaurav Uppal.
The fruit was packed in corrugated cardboard boxed and sold through retail outlets.
However, the sale of ethylene ripened mango has been temporarily suspended for want of fruit.
Publication date: 5/8/2012
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