Chandrababu Naidu brings cheers to mango farmers

Chandrababu Naidu brings cheers to mango farmers

Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu came to the rescue of mango farmers in Chittoor district to ensure the industries pay a minimum price of Rs 7.50...

Tirupati: Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu came to the rescue of mango farmers in Chittoor district to ensure the industries pay a minimum price of Rs 7.50 per kg bringing cheers to about 60,000 mango farmers in his home district.

Due to glut, the price of pulp variety mango (Thothapuri) steeply fell down hitting hard the farmers leading to the farmers taking to the streets seeking Rs 8 per kg for their produce while the political parties including ruling TDP also came in support of the farmers demanding the government to rescue them by directing the industries to pay the minimum support price.

The farmers were first happy when the industries offered Rs 12 per kg in the beginning of the mango season in May end but were alarmed when the industries slashed the price to Rs 8 and further to Rs 4.50 by June third week on the ground that there is no demand for the pulp.

Contrary to earlier predictions, the mango crop position was good this time resulting in heavy production of the pulp variety mango which occupies 75 per cent of the total crop area which is 2.5 lakh acres in Chittoor district, one of the leading mango producers in the State.

Chittoor Collector P S Pradyumna after representations from the farmers’ associations and political parties, held series of meetings with industries to hike the mango price to avoid losses to the farmers but in vain.

Following the price dip, the farmers did not harvest about 1.6 lakh tonnes of mangoes (leaving them on the trees) while many plucked them and poured them on the roads at several places, sore over low price.

The District Collector again on Tuesday held several rounds of meetings with the industries to increase the mango procurement price to at least Rs 8 per kg as demanded by the farmers but the industries stuck to Rs 5 per kg resulting in the Collector sending an SOS to the Chief Minister to intervene and end the crisis.

He explained the sorry plight of mango farmers who have not harvested about 1.5 lakh ton of mangoes due to the price dipping to the lowest level. The Chief Minister probably with an eye on the election responded immediately and announced on (Tuesday) night that the government on its part would pay Rs 2.50 per kg to the farmers to bail them out from the glut.

The amount will be paid through the industries to which the farmers supply their produce and sought the Collector to evolve the guidelines for the procurement of mangoes and also wanted him to take effective measures to check mangoes from other states coming into the district, cornering the benefit.

Collector Pradyumna speaking to the media on Wednesday said that the industries agreed to pay Rs 7.50 per kg including government payment of Rs 2.50 kg to the farmers. The procurement of mangoes by the industries will be completed by July 20, he said adding that a three-member committee has been set up in the 300 villages to issue permit receipt to farmers for supplying their produce to the pulp industries.

The receipt includes the details of farmers including Aadhaar number, phone etc. he said seeking the farmers to cooperate for the smooth completion of mango procurement.

Later, the Collector along with Industries Minister N Amaranatha Reddy addressed a farmers meeting held on the premises of Jain Factory, in GD Nellore mandal, a major procurer of mangoes in Chittoor district, to celebrate the CM’s decision.

The Minister and Collector termed CM’s decision as historic. Minister Reddy said that there was no instance of any State government providing support price to mango farmers in the country and urged the district administration to set up check-post to prevent entry of mangoes from outside so as to ensure the district farmer gets the benefit given by the Chief Minister.

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