BY AMITA VERMA
Mango growers are likely to suffer huge losses in this season due to the nationwide lockdown amid Covid-19 pandemic. According to experts, if the situation persists, mango growers could suffer almost 100 per cent losses.
“In major mango producing states, including Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh, the situation remains grim,” said Insram Ali, president, Mango Grower Association of India.
He said that in this mango season, not only has the market shrunk but production is also expected to be around only 70 per cent of last year due to untimely rains in northern parts of the country.
Ali said that in Maharashtra, the price of alphonso has dropped by more than half this year.
“The price was around Rs 1,500 per dozen last year but this year, the price is ranging around Rs 400-500 per dozen. Similarly, the export of the mango to the Middle-Eastern countries and Europe has come to a standstill and there is no hope in near future,” he said.
According to him, the country produced around 1 crore 75 lakh metric tonne of mango last year. This year the production is likely to remain close to 1 crore metric tonne. The low production is mainly due to untimely rains and hailstorm in the northern parts of the country, particularly, Uttar Pradesh.
In Uttar Pradesh alone, nearly 25 per cent of mango crop is expected to be lost due to rain and hailstorm. The farmers in this state may lose nearly Rs 3,000 crore while overall mango growers across the country may lose Rs 6,000 crore this season.
Insram Ali stated that due to lockdown, the biggest problem was of labor and transport.
“Earlier, when the season would start, buyers would buy whole orchard but this season we are not getting buyers for our orchards. The main problem is labor-even the buyers are not getting labor. Also, transportation is not available in required number,” he said.
Insram Ali says that even the government has, so far, not shown any interest in helping the mango farmers. He demanded that the government should intervene and decide a minimum support price for the mango crop. (IANS)