Bengaluru: The agricultural landscape of Karnataka, impacted by insufficient rainfall this year, has found a silver lining for mango growers. The scarcity of rain has resulted in early flowering for mango crops, promising an early entry into the market next year.
Traditionally, entering the market in April and May, mangoes are expected to reach consumers as early as March 2024, provided there is no untimely rain, allowing a robust harvest.
Mango cultivation spans 1.60 lakh hectares in Karnataka, contributing an annual average yield of 10 to 14 lakh metric tonnes. Over the past few years, excessive rainfall has curtailed the yield to 7 to 8 lakh tonnes. However, with the limited rain this year, estimates suggest a potential yield of 15 lakh tonnes.
Kolar district leads in mango cultivation with 46,000 hectares dedicated to the fruit. Other districts such as Ramnagara, Dharwad, Davangere, and Chikkaballapur also actively engage in mango cultivation.
Perennial crops like mangoes typically bear the brunt of continuous rainfall. Despite this year’s drought conditions, growers hope for a good harvest.
Davangere district, with 1,500 hectares of mango cultivation, predominantly favours the alphonso variety. Speaking to Siasat.com, deputy director of the horticulture department, Raghavendra Prasad, noted that the district’s mangoes are exported to Pune and Delhi. In Dharwad district, where approximately 8,400 hectares are dedicated to mango cultivation, the alfonso variety takes precedence. Due to limited rain, the flowering period of mango trees has advanced this year, raising hopes for an early harvest.
While the rising temperature has spurred early blooms, the deputy director of horticulture department, Raghavendra Prasad, has advised caution. He noted that untimely heavy rains in January or February could hamper the mango crop yield. However, if weather conditions remain favorable, Karnataka may witness an early and abundant supply of mangoes in the coming year.