Banginapalli mangoes losing lusciousness

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Farmers prefer to make money by giving land to realtors.

Kurnool: Low rainfall, rise in cost of fertilisers and non-availability of workers have forced Banginapalli mango growers to shift to paddy and other crops. At a time when the famed Banginapalli mango, as it is popularly called, is all set to get geo-tagged, the luscious fruit cultivation is getting extinct at the place from where it got its name. Though Banginapalli mangoes are grown in orchards of Krishna, West Godavari, Kurnool, Chittoor, Khammam, Adilabad, Karimnagar and Medak districts, the king of fruit would be losing its distinct origin if farmers are not encouraged to cultivate.

BJP leader Katasani Rambhupal Reddy said it is high time the government extends subsidies and aids mango cultivation in Banaganapalle area. Farmer Sankar Reddy said mango cultivation is not encouraging in terms of remuneration though the product is in high demand, as the profit is knocked off by middlemen. With a majority of orchards situated in and around the town of Banaganapalle, farmers are looking to capitalise on the land by converting that into real estate.

 Horticulture officer Madan Mohan Goud said the government has been giving 100 per cent subsidy for mango orchards in the area. However, the farmers are not showing interest in cultivating mango crop. “It is true that in the past 4-5 years, the weather has been not conducive to reaping good yield. Untimely rains, hail storm or pests have spoiled the good crop,” he said.

The government was willing to extend assistance if the farmers took up fresh saplings and grow them instead of depending on the old mango trees, he said. In Kurnool district, Banginapalli orchards occupy 6,000 hectares. Mango is liked both by the young and the old. They wait eagerly to consume the King of Fruit, which grows only once in a year. The state should take steps to preserve the taste and liking for the fruit.

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