Farmers concerned as unseasonal rainfall damages mango crop in Uttar Pradesh | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Farmers concerned as unseasonal rainfall damages mango crop in Uttar Pradesh

ByAakash Ghosh, Lucknow
Apr 04, 2023 02:36 AM IST

After rain and hailstorms in northern India, eight teams of scientists were constituted to conduct a survey assess losses in several districts of Uttar Pradesh.

Unseasonal rain and hailstorms at the time mango orchards were flowering may have damaged up to 25% of Uttar Pradesh’s production, according to the Central Institute of Subtropical Horticulture in Lucknow. While 35% of the production in Mal-Malihabad belt, one of the largest producers of mangoes in the state, may have been affected, other districts could see 20-25% crop damage.

35% of the mango production in Mal-Malihabad belt, Uttar Pradesh, may have been affected.
35% of the mango production in Mal-Malihabad belt, Uttar Pradesh, may have been affected.

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“After rain and hailstorms in northern India, eight teams of scientists were constituted to conduct a survey assess losses in several districts of Uttar Pradesh,” director T Damodaran said. “Different teams conducted surveys in Sitapur, Malihabad, Barabanki, Bijnor, Bulandshahr, Muzaffarnagar, Shahjahanpur, Shamli, Varanasi and Kushinagar, among other districts. We found that the Mal-Malihabad region had suffered more damage (35%), while other districts saw damage up to 20-25%.”

“Unseasonal rain affect mango flowering in various ways, and fungal disease is the most common. Untimely showers also lead to diseases such as anthracnose infection in fruits, blossom blight and powdery mildew among others,” said PK Shukla, principal scientist and head of the crop protection department at the institute.

Other factors that affect production include lower pollination due to excessive spraying of chemicals, he added.

“This year, Malihabad showed signs of a thriving mango crop, but it was snuffed out. The first rain was beneficial to flowers, but the second and third consecutive showers, followed by hailstorm in March, turned the panicles black, which may or may not develop into healthy fruit,” said Insram Ali, president of All India Mango Growers’ Association, a producers’ collective.

The dussehri, chausa, langra and lakhnauva varieties may be the worst affected, Ali said.

Despite the damage, India’s largest producer of mangoes could still post a record harvest. Uttar Pradesh holds pole position in mango production, according to the Agriculture and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority, with a share of 23.58% of the country’s output and the highest productivity in 2021-22. It is also the largest producer of dussehri mangoes.

Read here: 40% wheat already damaged, more rains to pile up Punjab farmers’ woes

The production of mangoes will be bumper this year as there is still time, Shukla said. “The exact figure of the yield is yet to be ascertained,” he said. “It will depend on the weather.”

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