Bengaluru: Mango buyers wary as they fear use of carcinogens for ripening

Though there was a bumper crop this year, despite the drought, farmers are now worried about the poor demand.

Bengaluru: Though fruit stalls in the city, including those run by Horticultural Producers’ Co-operative Marketing and Processing Society Ltd (HOPCOMS), are flooded with several mango varieties, there are not many takers.

The reason – there is a growing suspicion among the general public that middle men are using cancer causing powders for early ripening of this mouth watering fruit. According to mango growers, especially from Bengaluru rural, Tumakuru, Doddaballpur and other areas, though there was a bumper crop this year, despite the drought, they are now worried about the poor demand.

"Compared to last year, prices have come down by around 20 per cent in the open market. In fact HOPCOMS is providing us a better deal. Sellers are complaining there are no buyers for mangoes,” said Seetharamachari, a grower from Nelamangala who visited several APMC yards in the city on Thursday to find buyers.

Middlemen to blame
Both buyers and sellers blamed the middle men for poor demand and fall in prices."It all started three to four years ago when the media highlighted that carbide and other chemical powders were being used for the artificial ripening of mangoes. Since then health conscious people have stopped buying it from mandis and retail shops. They are buying organically grown mangoes which are available on various online platforms,” said Suraj Kumar, a fruit seller from Yeshwanthpur.

"We need to blame ourselves for this problem. Almost all the middlemen are nowadays using chemicals to ripen the mangoes and this has become a common practice. Unless and until we turn towards organic ripening methods it is impossible to stop the slide in prices," he said.

Mango price range
Badami- Rs 120-Rs 85
Mallika- Rs 90-Rs 74
Rasapuri- Rs 80-Rs 64

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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