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India mango crop suffers heavy loss this yearqrcode

May. 26, 2017

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May. 26, 2017
The most awaited mango crop, including Dussehri, has been 80% damaged because of bad weather and pests. As per members of mango growers' association, the 14 fruit belts in UP that produced around 40 lakh metric tonne mangoes in the state last year are likely to yield only 20% this season because of a number of thunderstorms and 'Rujji' pest that infects mangoes making them rot before ripening. About 3 lakh metric tonnes of mangoes—1.5 lakh metric tonne each by storm and pest—has already been destroyed.

The pest has affected most of the Dussehri, as also the Chausa and Langda varieties. "This time, we sprayed pesticides eight times though last year we did it only twice, yet there was no result and mites destroyed our crops. Mites have been affecting our crops for the past four years but the damage was never as high as this time," said Insram Ali, president of mango growers association of India. "We have come to the conclusion that the pesticides we got were spurious," he added.

As per the association office-bearers, the prime mango producing belt comprising Lucknow, Malihabad, Varanasi, Amroha, Allahabad and Bijnor have been worst affected. According to another mango grower Naseeb Khan, the mango mite probably got immune to the same pesticide over the years. "Sometimes, we need to between different varieties of pesticides to get rid of this problem," he said.

Central Institute of Horticulture director Dr Shailendra Rajan, however, pointed out three reasons for low crop this year. "The mite is one factor, followed by low temperature during early stages, preventing the fruit from developing properly. Also, since there was bumper crop in the last two years, there was poor vegetative growth and so there was less flowering this time," he said.

Considering the huge loss, the association on Thursday wrote to the prime minister and chief minister appealing for insurance coverage. MGAI (mango growers association of India) also demanded 24-hour electric supply, to facilitate irrigation as each mango tree needs at least 90 litres water per week.

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