Mangoes will be in your mail soon. No, this isn’t pulp fiction. With the mango season setting in, Karnataka has renewed its innovative scheme of delivering the King of Fruits using India Post right to your doorstep. The scheme, which was conceptualised by the Karnataka State Mango Development and Marketing Corporation Ltd (KSMDMCL) during the pandemic, turned out to be quite a hit as people chose to order their favourite fruit directly from farm to flat.
“The farmers benefited a lot through the India Post-Mango Corporation association. People were very happy to order directly from the farmers and the growers in turn were able to sell their produce at competitive prices despite the lockdown and travel restrictions,” said KSMDMCL’s managing director CG Nagaraju to News18.
According to the corporation, in 2020 a total of 100 tonnes of mango was supplied to 35 thousand consumers across Karnataka. In 2021, despite the Covid lockdown and lower yield, 79 tonnes of mango was sold to 45 thousand consumers.
“This year, though the flowering has been delayed, we are looking to have good sales,” Nagaraju said.
The method to book your choice of mangoes is very simple. Consumers can place their orders directly on the website (http://karsirimangoes.karnataka.gov.in). The page enables the consumers to contact the mango farmers directly and place orders for the varieties that they wish to buy. The farmers on the other hand have a separate registration id by which they are able to monitor the orders and what categories of mangoes are in demand.
Interestingly, after the success of using the portal to help farmers receive orders from consumers, many have taken to creating their own websites.
“You can now see many websites going by the name Sakkath (Awesome) Mangoes, Bombaat (Fantastic) Mangoes, etc, set up by these farmers to sell their products. It makes us proud that they are able to adapt to technology and use it to their benefit. We are here not as their competition, but as an enabler. We are happy they are doing well,” Nagaraju said.
As an added feature this year, KSMDMC has also introduced Mango Tourism. This niche concept had been gaining popularity before the pandemic, but now the corporation sees it as the right time to launch it once more. Mango tourism is a concept that allows your family to spend a day in an orchard along with the farmer’s family.
“People can visit with their families and pluck mangoes directly from the trees. They can enjoy the produce and also buy as much as they want directly from the farmer. They also get a taste of home-cooked food from the farmer’s kitchen, completely organic and healthy,” said Nagaraju.
KSMDMCL has estimated that the production will be around 10-12 lakh tonnes, but it may take a while before the fruits hit the markets in a full-fledged way— due to delayed flowering.
“There were unprecedented rains towards the end of last year and that led to the delay in the flowering of the mango plants spread over 1.76 lakh hectares across Karnataka. However, we can expect the produce from Ramanagara, Kolar, Bengaluru Urban, and rural areas to hit the market soon,” explained Nagaraju.
HS Mahadevappa, a farmer from Tumakuru, trained under the government on how to grow produce, maintain quality and also use new techniques to safeguard the yield in case of changing weather conditions.
“I sold around 80 kg of mangoes last year and many Bengaluru residents are calling me this year asking when I will post my mangoes to them,” said Mahadevappa with an excited laugh.
The technical advisory team of the Mango Board is now advising farmers, especially around Chikkaballapur, Kolar, and Ramanagar to use wax-covered bags to prevent rotting, fungal attacks, and insects from affecting the produce.