Published : 12 Mar 2016, 21:39:14
MUMBAI, Mar 12 (Business Standard): This year's mango season is likely to be a little less sweet for Indian growers as output is expected to decline by 10-15 per cent because of crop damage from recent thunderstorms and unseasonal rainfall.
However, the aam aadmi is unlikely to feel the pinch, as the crop damage has not been so extensive as to send prices skyrocketing.
Lasting several hours, the inclement weather is reported to have damaged mango bulbs and flowers; the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast says the rain and thunderstorms will likely continue for a couple of days more which may damage mango flowers further.
"Mango output is estimated to decline by 10-15 per cent …. However, an actual assessment is yet to be done on the extent of crop damage," said S Insaram Ali, president, All India Mango Growers' Association.
Data compiled by the National Horticulture Board (NHB) in its First Advanced Estimate forecast India's mango output at 19.52 million tonnes in the crop year 2015-16 as compared to 18.52 million tonnes in the previous year.
NHB forecasts India's acreage under mango at 2.2 million hectares this year compared to 2.1 million hectares last year.
Mango farmers had been enthusiastic about estimates of additional income on higher output estimates this year following favourable climatic conditions.
Barring sporadic crop damage, especially in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra, the hub of the 'Alphonso' variety, due to a cold wave, the climate was supportive this year. But the lower output estimates mean that there may not be a windfall in income for growers.
Prasad Jadhav, a mango farmer in Ratnagiri district of Maharasthra, is worried about a decline in his income from the last few years, but concedes that he does not expect any drastic change in his fortunes this year despite lower mango output this year in Ratnagiri, the hub of 'Alphonso' mango in Mahrashtra.
"The season started with a base price of Rs 1000-1200 a dozen early this week, almost similar to last year," said Jadhav, who along with over 100 mango farmers joined hands to form an online retail venture "Ratnagiri Mango" a couple of years ago but is yet to register the firm as a co-operative house.
"As the season goes ahead, the price of 'Alphonso' mango would decline when other variety of mango hits the markets from remote Maharasthra and Gujarat followed by Madhya Pradesh, South Indian states and Uttar Pradesh," he pointed out.