Bad weather hits mango harvest in Tamil Nadu

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Kondrampatty (TN), June 7 : Poor mango crop due to unfavorable weather has badly hit the villagers in Tamil Nadu's Krishnagiri District who survive on income earned during three-month long mango harvest season.

As per the official records, the Krishnagiri district accounts for the maximum mango production in the state covering nearly 36,000 hectares.

The Kondrampatty village in Krishnagiri district alone has more than 1000 acres of land under mango cultivation.

The villagers, who are basically employed in plucking and transportation work of mango, earn enough during three-month long mango harvest season to support themselves throughout the year.

"Our job is to pluck the mangoes. We do this job for a period of three months every year. We get Rupees 100 a day as our daily wages for this work. In these three months, we earn income to sustain our family expenses, education of our children amongst other expenditure. I have been doing this work for ten years. In Krishnairi and Dharampuri districts only mango crop sustains people and that too only for three months," said Saravanan, a worker.

But this year, lack of rain has resulted in premature dropping of mangoes drastically reducing crop yield.

"I have some 150 mango trees. Just before harvesting, I give employment to ten women and men and once harvest season begins, I employ some 10 to 20 persons more. But this year, mango yield is very low. Last year, the yield was 150 tones, but this year it was only 30 tones," said Macho, a farmer.

Krishnagiri district is the second largest mango pulp producer in the country with about 50,000 tonnes of mango pulp being processed in Krishnagiri, every year, which is about 35 per cent of the total mango pulp production in the country.

But with poor crop yield, the mango pulp processing here is also likely to suffer.he National Horticultural Mission has already identified the potential in this region and has declared Krishnagiri district for promoting mango cultivation.

The mango farmers in the district have asked the State Government to improve irrigation in the region instead of providing free mango saplings.By Jai Kumar

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