Mangoes have started coming in the local market but the arrivals have not yet picked up. The prices have been ruling on the higher side from the beginning of the season.

Usually, arrivals gain momentum from the second week of April, but this season due to late flowering the arrivals have been delayed by a few weeks.

Mango is cultivated in 65,000 hectares in Krishna district and it is sent to the upcountry markets from Nuzvidu railway station and also by trucks to different parts of the State. This season, due to low night temperatures and unfavourable climatic conditions, flowering was delayed and there was also an attack of various pests such as thrips, mango hopper and fruit borer. The average yield is 8-10 tonnes per hectare.The overall production may be down 20 per cent or so compared with last year, according to sources in the Agriculture Department. This factor, coupled with delayed arrivals, has pushed up prices from the beginning. The retail and wholesale prices are high.

Banganapalli  variety

Banganapalli is the fancied variety sent to the upcountry markets and exported to other countries on a limited scale. Currently, it is fetching well above Rs 25,000 a tonne in wholesale market and in the retail outlet it is selling at Rs 300-350 a dozen. However, as the arrivals increase in the last week of April and in May, there may be some slump, but not a drastic one, according to sources. Only one rake has been despatched from the Nuzvidu railway station to the upcountry markets this season so far.

The other varieties – Totapuri and Rasalu – are consumed within the State and they are also fetching good prices. The wholesale prices of Totapuri are in the range of Rs 13,000-14,000 a tonne and Rasalu is fetching Rs 15,000 or above a tonne.

Export target

The Horticulture Department has set itself a target of facilitating export of 300 tonnes this year as against only 80 tonnes last year and 120 tonnes the year before.

In spite of the best efforts of the AP Horticulture Department, the direct exports from this region have never really picked up. The upcountry merchants, who purchase from here, export the fruit to other countries from the North.

A heat vapour treatment plant has been established at Nuzvidu to facilitate exports to Japan. However, these steps have not really resulted in the desired spurt in exports. There is a view that instead of exporting raw fruit to other countries, the Government should encourage the private sector to set up processing facilities to maximise returns to farmers.

Source : The Hindu Business Line

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