‘Surplus production of about 50K metric tonne mangoes expected in Malda dist’
malda: Mango growers in Malda district are expecting a bumper yield later this year as the trees have started flowering about two weeks in advancewith colder days prevailing in the region for a shorter period this winter. According to experts, if the weather remains favourable for the next two months, a surplus yield of about 50,000 metric tonne can be expected.
Thus, the growers are now praying for a fog-free weather so the trees retain the flowersfor fructification. Samanta Layek, Deputy Director of the District Horticulture department, said: “The flowering has taken place in the mango trees about 15 days in advance as we had a short winter. This indicates that there are chances of greater production if the weather remains favourable in the comingmonths.” As per the records, about 3.70 lakh metric tonne mangoes were produced last year in Malda district. The officials and growers are expecting that the total yield may cross the 4 lakh metric tonne-mark this time.Over 31650 hectare constitute mango orchards in Malda district. About a hundred varieties of mangoes are grown in the district. The dominantvarieties are ‘Khirsapati’ (Himsagar), ‘Langra’, ‘Lakkhanbhog’ and ‘Fazli’. Other sought-after local varieties include ‘Gopalbhog’, ‘Daagi’, ‘Doodhkumar’, ‘Rakhalbhog’,‘Kataribhog’, ‘Misribhog,’ among others which are produced in small scale and is not available for the consumers of other districts or states. Another variety named ‘Ashwina’ is widely used for preparing pickles both in Bengal as well as other states. Malda mangoes are used in about 30 per cent of the pickles produced in the country, experts claimed. Meanwhile, the mango growers in the district claimed that in the absence of a proper laboratory for the certification of the fruit, the export of Malda mangoes to other countries and states has been affected in the past few years. Due to the presence of high levels of pesticides in the fruit,the export to Middle East and European countries had been hit. President of Malda Mango Merchants Association, Ujjal Saha, said: “The main problem is lackof a proper laboratory for certification by the Central ministry. Plant quarantine and pesticide levels are the two certifications mandatory for sending mangoes to other states as well as countries. One can pack mangoes but cannot getcertification. A laboratory is the need of the hour and will provide the much needed boost for Malda mango traders.” In such a scenario, the Union Budget 2023-24 has also left the mango traders in the region disappointed. “Despite the large quantity of mangoes produced in Bengal, no plan was taken up to create a mother industry in Bengalor other states,” he stated.