Fruit Lovers Throng The Annual Mango and Jackfruit Mela In Bengaluru
- Reema Gowalla
Updated : June 09, 2022 05:06 IST
Being held at the iconic Lalbagh Botanical Garden in the city, the fair is on until June 13
After a lull period of over two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Bengaluru’s much talked-about ‘Mango and Jackfruit Mela’ makes a full-throttle return to the city. Held under the aegis of the Horticulture Department and Karnataka State Mango Development and Marketing Corporation Limited (KSMDMCL), the event has been a big hit among the city’s mango and jackfruit lovers, and this year’s footfall and draw have reportedly been impressive so far. Started on May 27, the mela will go on until June 13 at the iconic Lalbagh Botanical Garden.
Why shouldn’t you miss making a trip to the fair if you are in Bengaluru? On display are as many as nearly 40 varieties of mangoes and some 12 varieties of jackfruit. These well-loved summer fruits are adorning the 122 stalls at the fair, all being lined in crates and cartons. Seen as an important annual horticultural event in the state, the event provides the much-needed platform for local farmers to directly interact with consumers and sell their produce.
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While fruit lovers consider this a great opportunity to buy the aromatic and naturally ripened mangoes and jackfruits, others who visit the venue to just stroll around can try the fresh fruit juices, papad and other products sold by local vendors. The event brings seasoned traders as well as new vendors under the same roof. Such is the popularity of the fair that people from other parts of Karnataka are also seen heading to Lalbagh in large numbers during this time of the year.
Mango cultivation is huge in the state, with mango orchards spanning across 1.8 lakh hectares of land. Different varieties of mangoes are grown in the districts of Kolar, Ramanagara and Chikkaballapur, apart from certain areas in the Bengaluru rural district in the southern part of the state. Meanwhile in the northern belt, Dharwad and Belagavi churns out tonnes of mangoes every year. Among the top varieties grown in Karnataka are Badami, Mallika, Neelam, Malgova, Kalapad, Sindhura, Alphonso and Totapuri.
This year, however, there has been a decline in mango production. According to KSMDMCL officials, a hormonal imbalance in mango flowering patterns, caused by the high moisture content in the soil, has led to this. The drop in the number of hermaphrodite flowers, which are said to be a key factor for a good yield, was seen in mango trees throughout the state.
CG Nagaraju - the managing director of KSMDMCL - was quoted telling The Indian Express, “This year, the mango yield in the market has been affected since the monsoon extended till December and the high moisture has led to hormonal imbalance in its flowering pattern. Adverse weather conditions, unseasonal rainfall, and higher cases of pests and diseases reduced the yield. Mangoes generally require a good drought and harsh winter. This year, we got neither.”
Some vendors at the mela have also expressed their displeasure at the maximum price ceiling set by authorities. Considering the transportation charges and other expenses, their profits are being limited by the price cap. Having said that, Alphonso and Dashehri are among the top favourites this year too, selling at ₹250 per kilo.