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India - About 40 per cent of the mango crop damaged by extreme weather events

According to an estimate by traders, about 40 per cent of the mango crop in the country has been damaged by extreme
weather events in the first two weeks of May. This not only means that fewer mangoes will arrive in markets but that people will have to shell out more money to buy them.

Nazam Islam, a mango wholesaler in Delhi’s Azadpur fruit market, said he had suffered major losses already due to mango crop damage. “I own big mango orchards in Uttar Pradesh and, right now, I can’t express my grief. About 40 per cent of the crop has got damaged and it is of no use. A large quantity of small mangoes has fallen off trees. These mangoes are not fully developed and they are of no use,” he rued. The trader said he had decided that, from now on, he would not to grow mangoes in over 50 per cent of his orchard. “This is happening because of climate change and it will keep happening. Many orchard-owners have stopped growing mangoes in my area,” he said.

Islam said the raw mangoes that fell off trees during thunderstorms do not fetch any money. “There are no takers for raw mangoes and we have to sell whatever we can at throwaway prices. In fact, we are distributing them free this year.”Traders at Azadpur market said supply of the fruit had already dipped and the impact of the mango crop damage would be felt more in the weeks to come.

“This is the time of the Safeda variety, which mostly comes from the southern and western parts that have not been too badly affected by bad weather. Supply of Dasahri, Langra and other varieties will start in the next 10 days. These generally come from the orchards of Uttar Pradesh. We have information that supply will be less this year,” said Subhash Bansal, another mango trader.

He said that 500-700 truckloads of mangoes generally arrived at Azadpur market every day during the peak summer season. “This year, less than 500 trucks are arriving and, in the coming days, the number may come down further.”This would certainly lead to a rise in the price of mangoes, he said. Normally, the wholesale price is Rs 30-40 a kg but it would be 10-20 per cent higher this year.

THE DAMAGE

About 40 per cent mango crop damaged by storms
Major damage to Dasahri and Langra varieties
No. of trucks arriving daily at Azadpur wholesale market has fallen by 20-30%. In a good year, about 500-700 trucks arrive daily
Price of mangoes to go up by 20-30%
Many fruit orchard-owners have decided not to devote more than half of their land to the mango crop

Source – http://www.newindianexpress.com

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