High-density mango cultivation mooted

Lot of potential to export crop from the State: official

Telangana government is planning to promote high-density and ultra high-density mango plantation for better quality and higher quantity of the fruit production with an eye on huge potential for Indian mango exports to several countries, including the USA.

According to Agriculture Production Commissioner C. Parthasarathi, high-density plantation in mango and other fruit crops is already being adopted by countries such as Israel, Spain, Italy, China, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand and others for about 25 years now and reaping rich dividends with higher share of exports compared to India. “They have higher exports in spite of the fact that India has the highest area under mango plantations and production, but meagre exports,” he stated.

Conducive climate

Coming to Telangana, the official said there is huge potential for mango cultivation in the State with conducive climatic conditions and suitable soils. In the backdrop of the Government of India’s decision to promote exports of agriculture products and formulation of an agriculture export policy with an objective to increase the exports from the present US$ 30 billion to US$ 100 billion by 2022, the Horticulture Department of Telangana has also decided to encourage farmers to take up mango cultivation on a large-scale for better income.

Mango exports from the country in 2016-17 were recorded at US$ 67.25 million and about one-fifth of it is done from the two Telugu States.

Mango, which is know as the king of fruits, is cultivated in about 2.89 lakh acres in Telangana with estimated production of 11.57 lakh tonnes a year. However, productivity of the fruit crop is 4 tonnes per acres in the State compared the to national average of 4.6 tonnes per acres. Uttar Pradesh is the leader in mango productivity in the country with 6.5 tonnes production per acre.

Ultra-high density

To showcase ultra high-density mango plantation as part of encouraging the farmers, the Horticulture Department is developing demonstration plots in 50 acres in its Centre of Excellence at Mulug in Siddipet district. “The plantation is taken up on the raised beds with mulching by adopting spacing of 3 meters x 2 meters having 670 plants per acre. The growth of the plantation is highly encouraging and the farmers visiting the demo-plots have been expressing interest to take up plantation in the new method,” Mr. Parthasarathi explained.

The ultra high-density mango cultivation is protected with bamboo as border crop/fence and it would also act as wind-breaker to minimise the impact in the event of heavy winds.

Further, the fence crop would also be an additional source of income along with one line of sandalwood plantation along the periphery as a pension crop to farmers after 15 years, horticulture officials said.

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