Visakhapatnam: The destruction left behind by cyclone Hudhud is finally beginning to become a thing of the past and horticulturists in the district are able to breathe easy, thanks to the hike in orchard prices this year. Post Hudhud, many of the farmers had to face the brunt of severe losses suffered by wholesalers and their agents and due to this reason, orchard rates (produce rates) were static last year, allowing merchants to make up for their losses.
The district, which has over 1.5 lakh acre of mango and mixed orchard land, is one of the major mango producing areas in the state along with East Godavari and Krishna districts. Sources in the horticulture department said a lot of damage control work has been carried out over the last 20 months post Hudhud. Many of the damaged trees were re-planted in case they could not be rescued and many of the younger saplings have now grown and are in full bloom.
According to farmers of Uratla near Narsipatnam, the old gardens have recovered in the last 20 months and are expected to have a bountiful yield in the coming months of this year. “I’m expecting close to Rs 1.25 lakh for my orchard this year. More importantly, there is around two acres of vacant land that I am using for turmeric cultivation,” said C Krishnama Raju, a resident of Uratla, who owns a 10-acre mango orchard with more than 400 fully-grown mango trees and 80 fully-grown cashew trees.
Wholesaler M Ayyappa Naidu of Makkavaripalem said, “Each mango or cashew tree on fetches around Rs 300 if it is fully grown and totally mature. However, in the case of young trees, the rate would be no more than Rs 200.” Ayyappa further added that the price has gone up by 20 per cent this year chiefly because the wholesalers have received an ample sum in the market due to the high pricing of mango. However, he did point out that this would mean that there should be no further inflation of prices for the coming season in 2017.