First drought and then unseasonal rains hit mango season

Are mangoes getting more expensive because of the droughtImage By arrangement
news Mangoes Saturday, May 07, 2016 - 18:42

Mango season: the sweet tantalizing promise of summer that everyone looks forward to. But the king of fruits is costlier this year following the drought in many parts of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

22-year-old Mehraj, the son of a mango farmer from Moinabad sells the fleshy fruit in the summer at Mehdipatnam Rythu Bazaar in Hyderabad. But the season has not borne much fruit.  “Due to drought there is not much production this year. That is the reason my father is buying mangoes from wholesale fruit-market in Kothapet this season,” Mehraj says.

The ‘Banganapalli’ variety from Andhra Pradesh has increased by at least Rs. 20 from last season. He says, “This season we are selling BanganapallI for Rs 80 per kg but last summer it was around Rs 50 to 60. Though we sell it for Rs 80 when a customer bargains we are forced to reduce it by Rs 10 or Rs. 20 otherwise no one will buy the mangoes. Anyway, we are in loss, so earning something is always better than nothing.” Native to Telangana, the price of Sundari has remained the same, at Rs. 80 per kg while the Tota Pari has increased to Rs. 18– Rs 20 from Rs. 8 – Rs.10 last year.

But it’s not just the drought that has hit mango farmers this year. The unseasonal spells of heavy rain in many parts of Andhra Pradesh and Telengana have washed away the hopes of thousands of farmers. Hailstorms in the last week of April in Andhra Pradesh damaged mango orchards in ten districts, with losses pegged at Rs. 75 crore.

Vasu, another farmer’s son travels from Pargi to sell mangoes at the Kothapet fruit market. He believes the unseasonal rain will lead to a further increase in the price of mangoes. ‘’ This year the Banganapalli price will increase to Rs 200 for sure. Due to unseasonal rains 70% of fruits have fallen which is a great loss for people like us.’’

To make up for losses, “few farmers are putting these fallen mangoes in a plastic box for three or four days. They then add a chemical called ‘carpet’ which turns the colour of the mangoes to yellow from green. Farmers go on to sell these mangoes in the fruit market for a profit,” he adds.




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