Chittoor mango growers rely on the pulp industry

Mango farmers in the Chittoor district are placing their hopes in the pulp industry this year, as the crop yields are around 35%, which is a slight increase compared to previous years.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, farmers fear poor prices for the products and recall the scenario three years ago when the price of mango fell below 7,000 yen per ton, which included government support. This year, however, the Mango Farmers’ Association is hoping for 10,000 yen per ton.

About 45 pulp industries in the district are ready to lift around 4 lakh tons with a shredding capacity of 10,000 tons per day. The association’s members met with Deputy Prime Minister K. Narayana Swamy in Puttur on Saturday and asked for his intervention to price the products well in view of the enormous losses suffered by producers over the past half decade against the backdrop of low yields score, followed by the pandemic for the second year in a row.

Growers also informed the deputy prime minister that those who had grown the mango table varieties had been bogged down with zero exports to the northern states and overseas due to COVID-19. After speaking with officials from the horticultural department, Mr. Narayanaswamy asked the association members to follow a set pattern when harvesting the crops at various stages so that the pulp industry can comfortably handle the shredding.

District Mango Pulp Industry Forum Secretary Govardhan Babi said mango farmers’ concerns about prices had been brought to the attention of the district administration. He said that the size of the mangoes was very satisfactory given the good climatic conditions and that farmers were advised not to rush to harvest the crop but wait for the fruit to ripen. He said it would take another 15 days for the work in all pulp units to become fully mature.

Meanwhile, the sellers who deal with table types in the markets find it difficult to sell the stocks in view of the blocking restrictions. In the face of the summer heat, the mangoes rot quickly, forcing them to dispose of the fruit at throwaway prices. On Saturday, the price of Benisha in most markets was 100 yen for 5 kg, the price was 100 yen per kg in 2019 and 50 to 70 yen in 2020.

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