With most European countries going through an extended lockdown period, uncertainty looms over mango exports from Karnataka. Growers producing export-quality fruits are keeping their fingers crossed with limited cargo flight operations.
Even though it is an “off-year” for the mango crop, Karnataka was expecting a yield of about 8 lakh tonnes, with the first batch of fruits harvested from trees with “manipulated” flowering already hitting the markets and fetching a handsome price.
The fruit varieties, mainly Alphonso, Badam, Saindoora, Mallika, Baganpalli and Kesar, are also exported to the Middle East, especially the UAE market, and the United States, but Europe has been the major market and the largest importer of mangoes.
The mango markets, or ‘mandis’, in Ramanagaram and Channapatna have been operating for the past few days. Fruit arrivals are set to go up with harvesting in many mango orchards in the district picking up pace using the local workforce. The Srinivasapura mango market, reckoned to be the largest mango market in Asia, is expected to commence operations in the second week of May.
Horticulture expert S.V. Hittalmani, who retired as the Additional Director of Horticulture, within the government of Karnataka, told The Hindu that the State had exported mangoes worth ₹80 mln last year. This year, growers are worried about exports to European nations affected by COVID-19. Efforts are being made to address the uncertainty since these nations should also be in a position to import produce.