Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Scientific harvesting to be adopted for the king of fruits

R Chowdareddy, Srinivaspur, June 3, 2012, DHNS:
Focus on quality at the Hopcoms purchase centre in Srinivaspur
Close on the heels of the setting up of mango purchase centre by Hopcoms, the growers in the taluk have adopted scientific methods to harvest the produce.

Acting on a direction from the High Court of Karnataka to provide market facilities for mango growers, the Agriculture Produce Market Committee has set up a mango purchase centre at its yard in the town. The guidelines governing the purchase of the produce emphasise on quality of the fruit.

Hitherto, the growers used to harvest the crop unscientifically and poor quality of the produce reflected on the price it fetched in the market. As the area under mango cultivation expanded, the farmers began to pluck the semi-ripened fruit and bring them to the market. The semi-ripened mangoes perished at the earliest, even by the time they were transported to the market and consequently, the traders rejected such fruits during purchase. Huge quantity of mango was wasted this way, to the detriment of the growers.

With the framing of guidelines for purchase of mangoes at the newly-set up purchase centres, the growers have taken to scientific methods of harvesting the ‘King of Fruits.’
The horticultural produce is now being plucked with the help of a basket, which prevents the mangoes from falling to the ground from a height. Earlier, the semi-ripened mangoes were made to fall from the free by hitting them repeatedly with a pole. The mangoes which hit the earth from a height damage and perish easily. Attention is also now being paid on the ripening stage of the mango.

While it is comparatively easy to adopt scientific method of harvesting in a small-size
farm, the task is an arduous one in large holdings. Acute shortage of labourers is a major problem faced during harvesting. The demand for workers goes up sharply during the harvest season. The growers are finding it difficult to get workers even if they offer higher wages. Leaving the mangoes for a long time in the tree will diminish their marketability.

“The mangoes grown in Srinivaspur enter the markets in neighbouring states and even foreign countries. Hence, scientific method of farming is imperative for the growers to fetch a good price for their produce. Rejection of the produce by traders will cause a huge loss to the growers,” said Sanaulla, a trader.

However, the awareness on the benefits of harvesting the crop scientifically, is yet to be created among the growers. Mechanisation of the harvesting could help tackle the labour shortage. The Agriculture Department, farmers and traders have to join hands to bring out a metamorphosis.