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INDIA : Mango capital hit by unseasonal rain

PALAKKAD, January 4, 2016
Updated: January 4, 2016 05:43 IST


A view of the mango orchards at Muthalamada near Palakkad.-Photo: K.K. Mustafah

It seems climate change is taking a toll on Kerala’s mango capital Muthalamada with unseasonal rain delaying the flowering process apart from adversely affecting the yield.

This is the third consecutive year in which flowering is getting delayed because of unseasonal rain during October, November and December. Now, the mangoes can be ripened only by March and as a result Muthalamada mangoes are reaching the market late.

Being one of the biggest centres of mango production in the country, this grama panchayat sharing border with Pollachi in Tamil Nadu has mango orchards spread in 45,000 hectares of land. Till three years ago, Muthalamada’s mango varieties were the first to reach global markets much before the mangoes mature in the gardens of the competitors, chiefly Peru and Venezuela.

Mango export alone was worth Rs.200 crore a season in this otherwise sleepy region of Palakkad. According to mango grower C.A. Nizamuddin, almost all the flowers appeared during September and October were lost in the rain.

The second round of flowering happened only in December and the ripening would be delayed. Mango export used to begin in Muthalamada during January first week every year.

“The yield is likely to be less this year due to climate change. Late harvesting would even prevent us from getting better prizes. So far, we were able to get big orders apart from getting fair prizes,” said Mohan Kumar, general secretary of Muthalamada Mango Merchants Association.

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Mangaluru: Vagaries of nature is expected to take a toll on the production of King of Fruits - Mango - in Karnataka this year. A combination of failure of pre-monsoon showers at the flowering and growth stage and spike in temperature in mango growing belt of the state is expected to limit the total production of mango to an estimated 12 lakh tonnes in the current season as against 14 lakh tonnes in the last calendar year.

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