Mango festival aims to provide market linkage to tribal farmers of Odisha

Bhubaneswar: In a bid to provide better market linkage to mango farmers from tribal-dominated districts of the State, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) kicked off a ‘Mango Festival’ in Bhubaneswar today.

With the help of non-government organisations, NABARD has been organising the festival for the past two years. The festival, which was inaugurated by Governor Ganeshi Lal today, will continue till June 14.

Lal expressed happiness over the availability of so many varieties of mango at one place. “This is the first of its kind experience where I found so many varieties of the fruit at one place,” he added.

NABARD Chief General Manager, KC Panigrahi, who was present on the occasion, said “Mangoes available at the festival are chemical-free and cultivated organically. Our purpose is that poor tribal farmers should get the right price for their produce.”

Through the festival, NABARD is providing infrastructure for marketing of mangoes collected from farmers by non-governmental organisations.

Raj Kishore Agarwal, a trader, said, “Farmers are getting the right price at the festival. They are able to get a minimum Rs 50 per kg mango which they would have otherwise sold at Rs 15-20 per kg.”

Expressing similar views, secretary of Kandhamal-based NGO Jagruti, Kailash Chandra Dandapata pointed out “A sustainable livelihood opportunity is being created for tribal farmers by organising this festival. A farmer usually gets at least Rs 50,000 every year after selling mangoes at the festival.”

More than 20 varieties of mango are being sold at the festival.