Realty changes the equation

Mango production is going to be affected in East Godavari district this year if the arrivals at the market are any indication. Orchards are spread in over 25,000 to 30,000 hectares in the district with the Rajanagaram, Korukonda, Gokavaram, Tuni, Sankhavaram and Rampachodavaram Agency areas accounting for a majority of them.

The number of mango orchards in Rajanagaram mandal, which is blessed with fertile and valuable land, has been coming down gradually as a result of real estate business. Sensing the change in the situation, some of the cultivators have shifted to this lucrative business.

Most of the mango orchards are grown in rain-fed areas and the Horticulture Department, which generally gives suggestions on application of fertilizers and weather conditions, has foreseen a shortfall in production this year.

“Foggy weather, mist and also a prolonged dry spell have affected the plantations very badly in the district. Alternative fruit bearing is also one of the reasons,”said Mallikharjuna Rao, Horticulture Officer, Rajamahendravaram.

Farmers from Korukonda, Gadarada, Kanupuru, Tirumalayapalem, Yerrapalem, Vedurupaka, Veerlankapalli, Gokavaram, Dosakayalapalli, Raghavapuram, Kotikesavaram, Bolleddupalem, Garagalapalem, Etikayalapalli, Indupurupeta and Tatikonda every year take raw mangoes to Lalacheruvu and Diwancheruvu makeshift markets from whee they are sent to different places.

Banginapalli variety mango is grown extensively in the district followed by Collector, Rasalu and local varieties. Diwancheruvu, Tuni and Sankhavaram are the places from where mangoes are exported every year to the Vijayawada market.

“Real estate has affected mango production very badly in this area and farmers as well as agents who were exporting them to Vijayawada, Hyderabad, Kolkata and other places have stopped exporting for the last four to five years as the area under cultivation has shrunk from 7,000 hectares to 2,000 hectares,”said Akula Veerraju, president of the fruit farmers association.

The dip in production is going to impact prices this year as the most popular Banginapalli variety is going to cost ₹1,500 to ₹ 2,000 per hundred fruits this year as against ₹800 to ₹1,000 per 100 fruits last year.

Rajahmundry Agriculture Market Yard, which is popularly known as mango market, usually gets fully ripened mangoes from the first week of April. But this year, this is going to be delayed.

Ramachandra Rao, manager of the market yard, said that the arrivals to the market will come down compared to the previous year because of the alternative bearing pattern. While 4-6 lakh mangoes of Banginapalli, rasalu and other local varieties arrived at the market last year, the number may come down to 2-3 lakh this season.

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