The nationwide COVID-19 lockdown has hurt the mango trade this year with a fall in prices and farmers hesitating to harvest the crop due to lack of transport facilities. Mango is cultivated across a large stretch in the Nuzvid region in Krishna district. Varieties such as Banginapalli, Chinna Rasalu, Pedda Rasalu, Neelalu and Jalalu.
This year, the lockdown has farmers in the district worried. No buyers have come forward as there is no scope to transport the crop to the markets.
"Sooty mold and other infections had hurt the crop in the last five years. We have overcome it and received good flowering this year. The expected early crop is ready for the harvest but no exporter is coming forward to buy fruits from us. They are highly perishable and we need the support of the government," said a farmer from ldara village.
M.V.S. Nagi Reddy, vice-chairman of Andhra Pradesh state agriculture mission told TOI that the government will extend help to mango farmers. "Poor transport has had a severe impact on the export of mangoes to other states. The agriculture marketing department will facilitate the farmers in selling their products through markets across the state. The local sale will help them in this tough time;' he said.
Nagi Reddy also urged farmers to focus on selling their crop in local markets instead of transporting it to other states.
Mango production in Karnataka sees steep decline
Meanwhile, production in Karnataka is showing a steep decline. Due to the climatic conditions last year, including an extended monsoon season and a mild winter, Karnataka is witnessing a decline in mango production, and the fruit’s arrival in the market has been delayed as a result.
Though mangoes should currently be available for purchase, they will likely only arrive after a month or so.
The state typically accounts for about 1.2 mln tonnes of mango every year, but officials are concerned that this year’s production will fall to about half the usual number. Mango production estimates for this season is only around 450,000 to 520,000 tonnes.
The mangoes grown in the state include Badami, Sendura, Totapuri, Mallika, Banganapalli, Neelam and Daseri among others. Both Badami and Banganapalli are export quality mangoes. Karnataka ranks after Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh in the production of mangoes in the country.