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India - A disappointing summer for mango lovers in state

Erratic weather pattern has impacted the mango production across the State this year. The yield is likely to be 40% less than normal this summer. Various reasons, including diurnal variations and delayed monsoon, are being cited for the likely fall in the yield. Though the prices may be higher, “good quality fruit” can be expected.

The flowering generally begins in September-October. Harvesting of the crop is taken up from March onwards. But this season, due to low night temperature and unfavourable climatic conditions, flowering has been delayed. And this has impacted fruit-bearing to some extent.

The flowering used to be robust and extensive in the mango orchards in Nuzvid, Tiruvuru, Mylavaram, Agiripally, Nunna, Thotlavallur and other areas of Krishna district a couple of years ago. The orchards lost the sheen due to poor flowering and fruit formation. Virtually, there is little activity in the mango gardens. At very few places the farmers are seen moving around their orchards to spot if there was any infest. “We used to spray potassium nitrate for better results. But, this year, the flowering is not extensive. We are clueless what to do?” says Siva Krishna, a farmer at Agiripalli.

A few other farmers have decided to fell their mango trees and look for alternative crops. At places like Nuzvid, the farmers are seen clearing their orchards. The mango is a crop which has an alternate bearing cycle and in Bangenapally variety the phenomenon is striking. The production, however, depends on the age of the trees. But, this is the third consecutive year that there is meagre yield in our orchards. Also, the trees have grown too old. “So, we are planning to go for alternative crops like guava,” says Venkateswara Rao, another farmer.

Slow growth

When contacted, Assistant Director (Horticulture Planning) Ratnacharyulu says that high day time temperature has impacted the flower bud initiation. Less fruit set and slow growth are also witnessed. More so, the flowering has also been damaged due to fog and snow, he explains.

Delay in the flowering of mango trees adversely impacted the production and price as well.

The mango farmers are upset over low yield and lament that prices prevailing in the market are not sufficient to recover even the investments they have made. Farmers such as M. Chinna Rao of Chandragudem in Krishna district says that they have invested not less than ₹20,000 to ₹30,000 per acre. But, the prices are in the range of ₹10,000 to ₹18,000 per ton. Last year, the prices were between ₹40,000 and ₹45,000 per ton, he recalls.

The activity at Nunna mango market is not encouraging. The poor arrivals have led to sky-high prices and disappointing the mango lovers. About 100 to 150 tonnes of mangoes per day are reaching the market against the 300 tonnes that came last year. Mangoes from Nuzvid, Agiripalli, Reddygudem, Kanchikacharla, Mylavaram, Adavinekkalam, Gampalagudem, A Konduru and nearby areas are brought to the Nunna mango market for sale. Though the king of fruit has hit the market, it is not in the reach of the common man. The prices of a good quality fruit are hovering between ₹500 and ₹600 a dozen in the retail market.

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