India: Farmers in Karnataka distribute mangoes for free to protest against steep fall in prices

This report originally appeared in The Hindu on 15 June

People visiting the Deputy Commissioner’s office and other government offices as well as courts at the DC Office complex in Kolar have a gift for them. They are getting mangoes of different varieties free of cost.

The district unit of Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS) led the free distribution on Thursday to register its protest against steep fall in prices of mango.

The protesters also presented a bunch of mangoes to Deputy Commissioner G. Sathyavathy and Additional Deputy Commissioner K. Vidyakumari who came to receive the memorandum.

Mango cultivators are facing problem due to fall in the prices and the government should come to their rescue, KRRS leaders said.

Though farmers did not get good prices, mangoes are being sold in retails markets at higher prices, with the middlemen reaping the benefits, KRRS state vice-president K. Narayana Gowda said.

The government has failed to establish mango processing units which would have helped farmers to fetch better prices, he added.

“Assurances in connection with starting of mango processing units remained only on paper”, KRRS women’s wing convener A. Nalini said.

The outfit also condemned lack of facilities at the APMC yard in Srinivasapur where a large quantity of mango is being brought for sale.