Unseasonal Rains & Warm Weather Threaten Gujarat's Mango Season

Unseasonal Rains & Warm Weather Threaten Gujarat's Mango Season

South Gujarat, renowned as the state's "mango bowl," is particularly affected, with major mango-growing regions like Surat, Navsari, and Valsad staring at heavy losses

Melvyn ThomasUpdated: Saturday, April 13, 2024, 01:36 PM IST
article-image
File

Untimely rains and a mild winter due to a western disturbance have wreaked havoc on Gujarat's mango crop, raising concerns about a significant drop in production and potential price hikes for the "king of fruits." South Gujarat, renowned as the state's "mango bowl," is particularly affected, with major mango-growing regions like Surat, Navsari, and Valsad staring at heavy losses.

"The unseasonal rains are causing heavy destruction of the standing crops just ahead of the mango season, which typically starts in the first week of May," laments a worried farmer from Valsad. "Due to the less cold winter and the unseasonal rains and thunderstorms in March, the flowering on the mango trees was significantly lower, and many small fruits fell due to strong winds."

Reduced Mango Yield Expected Across South Gujarat

These concerns are echoed by agricultural experts. Surveys indicate that mango orchards across South Gujarat, encompassing over 85,000 acres, currently hold less than 35% of their usual mango yield. The impending western disturbance, coupled with further unseasonal rains and strong winds, is expected to inflict even more damage.

The Meteorological Department's forecast paints a gloomy picture. "The western disturbance will likely remain active, leading to cloudy weather for the next three days," explains a meteorologist. "Temperatures will drop by 2-3 degrees during this period, followed by a rise of another 2-3 degrees. However, the disturbance is expected to trigger thunderstorms with normal rainfall in some areas between April 13th and 15th."

Bhavnagar's Kesar Mango Production Takes a Hit

The situation is no better in Bhavnagar district, particularly in Talaja taluka, a prominent producer of the Kesar mango variety. "Due to the abnormal temperatures this year, mango production in Talaja is extremely low, and there's a high chance of crop failure," remarks a concerned farmer from the region. "The unseasonal warmth caused the mangoes to bloom prematurely, followed by the appearance of spots on the fruit. The lack of sufficient winter chill and the early onset of heat disrupted the flowering process."

Mango Prices Likely to Rise

Adding to the woes of mango lovers, the limited harvest is expected to push up prices significantly. "Just at the beginning of April, right before the fruiting stage, new buds erupted on the mango trees, leading to the growth of new leaves," explains a researcher. "Mango trees typically shed their leaves during the monsoon season. This early growth has stunted the development of the fruit. We're also witnessing a worrying trend of small mangoes falling off the trees."

The impact on the Kesar mango variety, a popular choice both domestically and internationally, is particularly concerning. "Talaja and other Bhavnagar districts typically produce around 5,000 tons of Kesar mangoes annually," informs a local agricultural officer. "However, due to the combined effects of global warming and extreme weather patterns, a successful Kesar mango harvest is becoming increasingly challenging. This year, we only expect a yield of 1,500 to 2,000 tons."

Experts point out that under normal circumstances, mango trees bloom during the peak winter months of December and January, with the fruits maturing fully by February. This year, however, the unusual weather patterns observed post-Diwali, including the premature emergence of new leaves, have severely disrupted the natural production cycle. This disruption, coupled with the limited yield, is likely to cause a doubling of mango prices across the state.

RECENT STORIES

WATCH: Rape Accused NDA MP Candidate Prajwal Revanna Arrives At Bengaluru Airport On Lufthansa...

WATCH: Rape Accused NDA MP Candidate Prajwal Revanna Arrives At Bengaluru Airport On Lufthansa...

Massive Fire Breaks Out At Gurugram Cloth Manufacturing Unit In Haryana

Massive Fire Breaks Out At Gurugram Cloth Manufacturing Unit In Haryana

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: As Last Phase Of Polling Nears, Candidates Across Political Parties Rush...

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: As Last Phase Of Polling Nears, Candidates Across Political Parties Rush...

Heatwave: Rajasthan High Court Directs State & Central Govts To Compensate Affected Families

Heatwave: Rajasthan High Court Directs State & Central Govts To Compensate Affected Families

Prajwal Revanna Set To Return To India; Here's A Timeline Of Sex Abuse Case Involving JD-S MP

Prajwal Revanna Set To Return To India; Here's A Timeline Of Sex Abuse Case Involving JD-S MP