Govt plans to boost mango production

Bhubaneswar: The State government is planning to boost mango production by adding more 56,000 hectare of cultivated land in Angul, Dhenkanal, Amyurbhanj, Rayagada and Gajapati in the next five years, Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy said on Sunday.

“Attempts are being made to ensure that the production of mangoes become a more profitable business. Last year we could only produce around 3 lakh metric ton mangoes but this year due to efforts by the government, the production has been more than double at 8.3 lakh metric ton, Maharathy said while addressing media during a mango festival and exhibition in Bhubaneswar.

Organised by State Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Department at the Central Horticultural Experiment Station (CHES) in Bhubaneswar, the two-day mango exhibition was inaugurated by chief minister Naveen Patnaik here on Sunday.

Speaking to media after the event, CM Naveen said “I am glad to see this extra varities of mangoes and also that the farmers of our state are getting appropriate training on mangoes.”

Gobind Acharya, head of the CHES said, “Since Mango is one of the main crop in Odisha and constitutes about 60 to 70 per cent of horticulture farming sector, we have developed some good farmer friendly practices and techno like spacing and canopy management and farmers and general public are being imparted the necessary ideas about those practices.”

Sources said the main aim of the show is the conserve and preserve the old varieties of mangoes which are almost getting extinct. People can also get the knowledge about the different species, markets, feasibility of its business and profits associated. Attempts are being made by the regional centre of the Indian Institute of Horticulture Research at Bhubaneswar in trying to bring in newer varieties of the fruit with help of hybridisation so that productivity can be increased by two to four folds.

With varieties aplenty, from dark green to a fiery red-orange to a bright yellow in all shapes and sizes, the event is showcasing as many as 30 stalls and 100 different types of local and foreign breed mangoes. People were seen thronging

Not only farmers but also local public have also welcomed the exhibition.

The festival gives us a good opportunity to look at some of the rarest of mango breeds present in our state and outside. We would never be able to see such different varieties of the fruit at a single place. This apart we can also buy some at good rates, Lokapriya a city resident said.

Sangram Keshari Pradhan, a Boudh based farmer-entrepreneur said “This is my first time in Bhubaneswar but I generally participate in shows organised by NABARD. With the help of such events we are able to meet people of various sections and profiles. This not only helps us in promoting our business but also make people aware about the quality of our business.