No sweet news: mango yield expected to be less than half of usual

Mango yield down by 60% ahead of Ugadi in Bengaluru

Mango yield down by 60% ahead of Ugadi in Bengaluru | Photo Credit: BHAGYA PRAKASH K

There is bad news for mango lovers eagerly awaiting the arrival of the king of fruits; the mango season is delayed by nearly a month and owing to widespread crop damage, the yield is expected to be less than half of the usual.

This will be the fourth straight year of mango farmers suffering crop losses. As the yield falls, farmers are now pinning hopes that the prices will shoot up. 

“The flowering in trees was delayed this year due to unseasonal rains in October and November. Flowering that should happen by the first week of December happened only in February. Good rains after a spell of three years of drought has meant good moisture content in the soil, leading to vegetative growth of the trees, affecting fruit formation,” explained K. Srinivas Gowda, president, Chickballapur Mango Growers’ Association, estimating that the yield this season would only be around 30% of a normal year. 

There have been other issues plaguing the mango crop this year. “The crop has been affected by both hoppers and borer pests this season. We have held several meetings and issued timely advisories. But the delay in flowering, vegetative growth and fruit fall combined with the pests are expected to halve the yield. Over the last three years, the crop has been hostage to climate change, unseasonal rains and soaring temperatures, and the cycle of the crop has been disturbed,” said C.G. Nagaraju, MD of Karnataka State Mango Development and Marketing Corporation Ltd.

The Corporation estimates that the yield this year will be around 8 lakh metric tonnes, as against a normal yield in the range of 14-16 lakh metric tonnes. 

Due to late floweringm the season will start late and end later than usual this year. The first mangoes - usually from Ramanagara district - hit the markets in the second fortnight of March, which is expected this year only by the second fortnight of April. The season usually ends by July, but this year the season is likely to have an extended run. Mr. Gowda said because the supplies in the market will be low, they hope they get a good price, failing which farmers will run into heavy losses making their condition precarious. 

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Printable version | Mar 21, 2022 8:24:58 pm |