Heartbreak in Dharwad, mangoes drop too early

Sweltering heat has affected the yield of Mango in north Karnataka region.

HUBBALLI: With the day temperature hovering around 40 degree Celsius, such sweltering heat has affected the yield of Mango in north Karnataka region, adding to problems of growers and exporters of different varieties of the fruit including Alphonso. As many fruits have been falling to the ground before they ripen, growers are worried that the yield would decline this year unless some showers in the next couple of weeks helps improve the situation.

Mangoes are produced on 10,000 hectares in Dharwad district with the average production being about 8,000 tonnes. As many as two thousand farmers are engaged in cultivation of mangoes in 15,000 hectares of agriculture land in Hangal taluk of Haveri district. Farmers grow several varieties of mangos including Alphonso, Sindhula, and Denish. The cultivation of mangos has led to consideable improvement in the standard of living of farmers over the years mostly because of the revenue earned through exports to Hong Kong, West Asia and other countries.

“Mangos produced in the region are rich in nutrients wih essential vitamins and dietary minerals involved in it. These mangos are also being used to make juices, smoothies, ice cream and fruit bars. There will be at least 15 per cent reduction in production this year as high temperature has dealt a severe blow to the crop for the first time in north Karnataka region", says Kalyan Shettar, president, mango growers association of Hangal.

Dharwad district horticulture department deputy director S B Diddimani acknowledged about rampant flower drop in mango trees this year due to excessive heat and lack of moisture conditions. "There was early flowering in mango trees this year due to dry condition. The regular flowering has not yielded fruits due to high temperature. Therefore, mango yield will decline by 30 per cent in Dharwad district", he added.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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