Bhuj: MANGOES are here but lovers of Kutchi Kesar may have to wait a little longer to bite into the fruit. For, the most sought after variety of Kesar mango will hit markets, both domestic and international, only by mid-May. While Kesar’s original home is Talala in Gir area, the Kutchi Kesar is giving the mother variety a run for its money. “In terms of quality, there is no doubt about Kutchi Kesar surpassing Talala or any other Kesar variety grown in other parts of the State. This has been proved in state-level competitions time and again. And this time round, the yield is expected to cross the 58,000 metric tonne-mark. For, mango has been grown in a larger area this time by Kutch farmers, who are increasingly turning horticulturists,” says D M Bhagiya, acting head of the Horticulture Department here.
According to Bhagiya, 5,570 hectares of land was under mango crop last year. “The produce was as high as 62,000 MT. The yield this year may be a little lower even though mango is being grown in a larger area — 5,800 hectares. This is because of cropping pattern common to mango growing land in State, which means good crop every alternate year,” he says. However, tree-wise yield will be more this time. “The yield would range from 50 to 200 kg, depending on the fertility of the land,” says Bhagiya.
Batuksinh Jadeja, a mango grower from Maun village of Mandvi taluka who claims to be the first to export the fruit abroad, says: “Bad climactic conditions that prevailed a fortnight ago did raise concerns of mango growers here. Now, the fate of the crop will depend on the climactic conditions over the next month-and-a-half. The border district is known for hot summers. Excessive heat may harm the crop. However, if the climate remains as it is, mango produce will easily touch the 60,000 MT-mark.” As there is no air cargo service operating in the area, mango growers export the Kutchi Kesar by sea, through Mundra and Kandla ports. “We chiefly export our produce to Dubai, from where it is sent to other parts of the world with London being a major market,” says Jadeja. He also stresses on the need for a fruit export zone in the border district on the lines of the one in South Gujarat.
“Kutch is fast emerging as a quality producer of all kinds of fruit including its local variety of dates. Fruits grown here have a large market overseas. It has been a while since we urged the State Government to set up an export zone here, but there has been no response. The Government has been encouraging farmers to go in for horticulture, but it has yet to act on demands of farmers who have heeded its call,” he says.
Courtesy: Ahmedabad Newsline - Ahmedabad,India