The herald of summer brings with it not only sweltering heat but also King of fruits 'Mango'. This is the time traders ripen mangoes and bring in crates to sell in the open market. While, majority of the scrupulous traders resort to shortcut methods of ripening mangoes quickly, instead of allowing them to ripe naturally on their own.
This had made health conscious people think twice before buying the golden hued mangoes from street hawkers and wholesale traders. Hence, Horticulture Department has chalked out several measures to avoid fruits entering into market ripened artificially using harmful chemical that is calcium carbide. The chemical is not only a grave hazard to health but is also carcinogenic.
In this regard, the officials are educating farmers about ripening of mango fruits naturally by adopting low cost ripening technologies. In a first phase 1250 yielding garden farmers who have grown mangoes in an 1200 hectares of land are been provided training about ripening fruits naturally and quickly.
The farmers are being educated about low cost ripening methods like Pre-harvester system, how to prevent diseases, how to trap fruits fly, and much more as per the suggestions of Indian Institute of Horticulture Research, Bangalore.
Department officers say adoption of low cost techniques to ripe the fruits will be helpful for farmers to good harvest. Farmers who ripe the mangoes naturally will be provided opportunity to take part in mango mela, which will be conducted by department.
General public will be made aware of the ill effects of consumption of chemical fruits and special training is being provided for hobli, taluk level department officers and progressive farmers.
Department deputy director HM Nagaraj said that to gain early market large quantity of mangoes are ripened artificially by traders.
'Ripening of fruits artificially is not only hazrdous to health, whereas even violation of the Food Safety and Standard Act (FSSA). The department is exercising seriously to educate farmers, traders in market,' he added.
At Mysore Taluk, Hunsur, Nanjangud, HD Kote regions more number of farmers grow mangoes, followed by Periyapatna. From last ten years majority of the farmers are growing Ratnagiri Alphanso in the regions as there is good export value, followed by Mallika, Raspuri, Malgova, Dasheri.