Take your pick of the choicest mangoes
If you are particular about eating only naturally ripened mangoes, you can head to the Mango Mela to be organised by the Department of Horticulture at Curzon Park in Mysuru from May 27 to 29.
The mela comes at a time when concern has been expressed from various quarters over the use of calcium carbide, a chemical banned under the Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSA) Act, for artificially ripening the mangoes.
While most food scientists and technologists have cautioned the public against consuming the calcium carbide mangoes, which has flooded the market, Senior Assistant Director of Horticulture, Mysuru, Dinesh Kumar told The Hindu that the main purpose of the mela is to ensure availability of naturally ripened mangoes, besides creating a market for the farmers.
Most middlemen and traders resort to artificially ripening mangoes with calcium carbide. “The calcium carbide will not be easily washed off the mangoes. The residual effect can cause health problems. Only naturally ripened mangoes will be available at the mela,” Mr. Kumar said.
Thirty stalls with various varieties such as Alphonso or Badami, Raspuri, Mallika and Malgova, besides the pickle variety will all be available at the mela.
The Horticulture Department, which is holding its 16th mela, had already trained mango farmers to naturally ripen the mangoes. Mr. Kumar, however, said spraying of ethylene gas for ripening the mangoes is not harmful. Ethylene is a plant hormone that aids ripening, he said.
A Mango Price Fixation Committee comprising the Deputy Director of Horticulture Basavaraj, officials from HOPCOMS, professors from the College of Horticulture, Mysuru, and a couple of farmers will meet on the eve of the mela to fix the price of various varieties.
“There will be a uniform price for one particular variety of mango. The public can buy from whichever stall they wish, but the price of one variety will be uniform across the mela,” he said.
The price will be fixed in such a manner that the farmer will get his due and the consumer will also not feel the burden.
Mango Mela to be held from May 27 to 29
Naturally ripened mangoes assured at the mela
30 stalls will be put up at Curzon Park
Raspuri, Alphonso or
adami, Malgova varieties to be sold