BHAWANIPATNA: Mango growers in Kalahandi district are a worried lot. In spite of good harvest this year, the farmers are forced to resort to distress sale in the absence of market linkage and cold storage facility.
Mangoes are grown in 12,000 hectares of land in the district annually and this year, trees in 10,000 hectares have borne fruits. Hilly tracks of Thuamul Rampur, Lanjigarh, Bhawanipatna and M Rampur blocks are the most suitable areas for mango cultivation. This year, there has been a bumper production of varieties like Amrapali, Malika, Dasheri and Baiganpalli.
Apart from the regular varieties, there are as many as 40 local varieties of mangoes that are grown in Kalahandi district, each of them famous for its flavour and sweetness.
Some of them are Gudbheli, Hatimund, Rasunia, Akhurasa, Madia, Nabat, Kadlipheni, Malia, Jharan, Khandual, Dahipatul and Rajaam. There are a lot of by-products that are produced from these ‘desi’ varieties like prickles, ‘ambasadha’, ‘ambula’ and ‘chambati’, which are much in demand among locals and sell like hot cakes.
Mango cultivation is promoted through National Horticulture Mission (NHM) and farmers are roped in under the MGNREGS by Horticulture Department to work in mango nurseries that have been developed in Bhawaniaptna, M Rampur and Permanji.
Last year, mango saplings were planted in 544 hectares in the district and this year, there is a target to grow mangoes over 500 hectares of land.
However, in the absence of market linkage, farmers are forced to sell their produce at throwaway rates to wholesalers, who trade them at higher rates in the open market. While traders purchase the mangoes at `10 per kg from growers, they sell it at `30 -`40 per kg in the market. There are no cold storage units in the district to store the king of fruits.
Deputy Director of Horticulture, Sudhakar Sahu said more than 50,000 tonnes of mangoes have been grown in the district this season. He admitted to market linkage being the biggest hurdle for mango and other horticulture crops.
He said if market yards can be developed through Regulated Marketing Committee in different areas for storage and sale of mangoes, it will not only help rural economy but also popularise cultivation of horticulture crops.
No market link
Mangoes are grown in 12,000 hectares of land annually and this year, trees in 10,000 hectares have borne fruits
Cultivation is promoted through NHM and farmers are roped in under MGNREGS by Horticulture Dept to work in nurseries
In the absence of market linkage, farmers forced to sell their produce at throwaway prices to wholesalers, who trade them at higher rates in the open market
Traders purchase the mangoes at J10 per kg from growers and sell it at J30 -J40 per kg in the market