Highway Mango Mandi sees sharp decline in carts this year
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Highway Mango Mandi sees sharp decline in carts this year

April 29, 2024

Hunsur: Disheartening both farmers and mango aficionados alike, mango production has seen a decline attributed to unfavourable weather conditions.

This year, the flowering of mango trees was delayed, dashing the hopes of farmers who anticipated an average yield. However, the onset of extreme heat thwarted their expectations.

Mysuru typically serves as a bustling hub for mango trade during the summer months. Yet, this year has seen a noticeable downturn in business activity.

While there is still some trade activity within the city during the early morning and evening hours, mango vendors along the Highway Mandi at Nagawala in Yelwalhobli lining the Mysuru-Hunsur Highway are grappling with challenges in procuring and marketing their produce.

Typically, mango trees undergo the flowering process in December-January, but this season witnessed a mere 10-15 percent flowering. Although there was a promising resurgence of flowering by February, the onset of fruit setting was disrupted as flowers began to drop due to the scorching heat.

Unlike every year, mango farmers from Nagawala and its neighbouring villages find themselves in an unusual predicament along the Mysuru-Hunsur Highway due to a shortage in production. Typically, Highway is bustling with activity, with mango carts lining both sides of the four-lane road at intervals of just 10 metres. However, this year tells a different story. Instead of the usual hustle and bustle, there are scarcely a couple of carts selling mangoes, presenting a stark contrast to the norm.

Mahadeva has faithfully served as a mango vendor for nearly two decades at Nagawala, carrying on the tradition set by his father, who was also a seasoned businessman.

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“Traditionally, this thoroughfare would host between 30 to 40 carts laden with mangoes and an array of other fruits each year. However, the current season paints a starkly different picture as only a handful of carts stand waiting for customers amidst hot weather,” he said.

Typically, the vendors would carry out their trade by crafting impressive fruit towers, a spectacle to entice customers. Yet, faced with a scarcity of produce, they’ve resorted to presenting their fruits on trays. However, this adaptation comes at a cost, with the procurement of just two trays demanding a hefty sum of around Rs. 2,000.

“Due to extreme heat conditions, the fruits get spoilt quickly and we can’t keep them for more than two days. We are forced to offer approximately two trays of fruits, weighing around 40 kgs to cows as daily fodder,” Mahadeva said.

Facing mounting losses, they take a pragmatic approach to avoid deceiving their customers by redirecting any spoiled fruits to cows. Meanwhile, Mahadeva’s sons, Raghu and Ravi, seize the opportunity during their summer vacation to lend a hand. With their endearing charm and persuasive banter, they entice customers to buy the fruits. From dawn till dusk, they tirelessly engage in the art of selling, carrying on the family legacy.

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