by Tarun royal Gujjarlapudi

Summer favourite ‘Mango’ sales take a hit!?

mellifluous mango farmers get sour

Summer is fast approaching and the first thing that comes to mind is the juicy delicious mango fruit. People exhibit great enthusiasm to take the first bite. Often called the king of fruits and a season delicacy, the mango is now facing the ‘Corona’ scare. Farmers and businessmen invest a lot of money and sweat to grow mangoes and sell in the open market. Under normal circumstances, the mango sales overtake their previous year’s sale. It is a quite competitive market but the supply always meets the demand. India is the world’s largest mango seller.

  Many countries across the globe have closed their borders in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. These measures have a certain effect on the international fruit and vegetable market. Malaysia closed the borders last week. The closed border has had a great impact on the durian trade between Malaysia and China. In addition, other countries around China have taken similar measures. Vietnam and Thailand closed their borders with Cambodia. Vietnam and Thailand are still trading with China for now, and they are currently supplying mangoes.

  Agricultural crops in Karnataka harvested between December and March have been severely hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The worst affected have been mango farmers, especially exporters. About 15,000-20,000 tonnes of mangoes are exported each year to eight countries, including the US, Singapore, London, Brazil and UK. With these countries and India reeling under the contagion, no exports are expected this year.

 Exporters couldn’t even get visas to go to these countries to sign a contract. The prices of mangoes in the domestic market too have nosedived after the government announced a lockdown. While under normal circumstances, the prices range between Rs 145 and Rs 300 per kg depending on the variety, this time around Rs.40.

 Even in Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, which are among the earliest to harvest the fruits, prices have crashed.

  Sellers from Nuzvid market which is a chief exporter from Andhra Pradesh too are a worried lot, from them it is not just business but a year worth of hard work and toil. Apart from direct sales, the processing industry might be affected. Pulp extracted from the mangoes is used to make fruit drinks, sweets and other delicacies. Thousands are affected, who directly or indirectly depend on the mango market. Farmers, labourers, Industry workers have expressed grief and are requesting the Government to intervene and save them from an imminent threat. One thing the Government can do is act as the middleman by forming Mou’s with other countries and sell on behalf of the farmers. Andhra Pradesh has set up a fund to prevent losses to farmers, which will come handy.

 Similarly, other state Governments and the Central Government should take sufficient measures to prevent loss to the farmers and investors.

  All eyes on what the Governments do to help mango farmers.    

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