Campaign launched to promote carbide-free mangoes in Visakhapatnam

Ch RS Sarma Visakhapatnam | Updated on January 24, 2018

Buyers picking up naturally ripened mangoes put up for sale at theMango Mela at Rythu Bazaar in Visakhapatnam - Photo: CV SUBRAHMANYAM

Farmers believe use of carbide is more economical

The sight and taste of a fully ripened mango is one of the joys of summer, but there also lurks danger, as the fruits are ripened by farmers using calcium carbide.

The Horticulture Department has taken up a drive to educate the farmers and the public about the health hazard and the necessity for cultivating and consuming carbide-free mangoes.

A three-day mango mela is being organised at the MVP Colony rythu bazar here from Thursday to sell naturally ripened mangoes and to spread awareness about the need for shunning carbide.

Mostly, farmers from Nakkapalli mandal have brought the fruit to the rythu bazar and the response of the public on the first day was lacklustre.

The department has fixed the prices for different varieties – Banganapalli (₹40/kg), Suvarnarekha (₹40), Rasalu (₹45), Imam Pasand (₹50) and Kottapalli Kobbari (₹80). “We have come from far, nearly a 100 km, and these rates are not remunerative for us,” said P Siva and S Ramesh, farmers.

They said it was much easier and economical for them to sell the fruit using carbide and “the people are also used to it, as they like the colour and the taste of the fruit. Unless the consumer preferences are changed, this will only be a token exercise.” Venkateswara Rao, selling carbide mangoes outside the rythu bazar, said his business would be hit for three days and then it would be back to normal. He said carbide-free mangoes would be slightly costlier, “but that is not the main factor. We have all grown used to carbide – the farmers, vendors and the public.”

The horticulture department officials, however, are making efforts to wean the farmers away from carbide by offering subsidy to use ethylene gas for ripening the fruits.

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Published on June 04, 2015
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