Staff Reporter

KOLKATA: In a year that saw a low yield of mangoes in Malda, West Bengal, Cyclone Aila, which ruined produce worth Rs.18 crore, was the last straw on the district mango producers’ back.

“It had been a bad year for us and the cyclone reduced our produce to nothing,” said Subedh Mishra, secretary of the Malda Zila Mango Merchants Association. “The storms caused hundreds of unripe mangoes to fall. As a result, the mangoes, which we were expecting to sell at Rs.15 a kg, are being sold at Rs.2 a kg.”

Of the 26,000 hectares under production, the authorities were expecting 2,60,000 tonnes of mangoes, but the actual production was only about 10 per cent of this figure, said Samanendra Nath Khara, Mango Development Officer, Malda.