Mango production in the Konkan region, as well as south India, may dip by 30-35 per cent this season due to unusual flowering in the orchards, according to growers. This may affect both the quality and quantity of mangoes produced in these regions, pushing up the price of the much-awaited fruit in local markets.
This season, orchards in Konkan have reported three flowerings, said Chandrakant Mokal, president of the Maharashtra State Mango Growers Association. He added that this was unusual. “Normally, mango trees flower just once and the fruit starts developing after pollination. But this year, the trees reported fruit drop twice due to multiple flowering,” he said.
Multiple flowering of the trees could be an impact of climate change, said Mokal, pointing out that the flowering was mainly due to the longer than usual cold phase in February and March.
The multiple flowering has also affected the quality of the produce in the region. The fruits have dark spots following the attack of powdery mildew in early morning hours. “Such stains lower the chances of exports, so we expect a dip in overseas exports as well,” said Mokal.
Sanjay Pansare, president of the Fruits Traders and Commission Agents Association in the Vashi wholesale market, however, was not optimistic about the export prospects of the fruit this season. “There are reports of dip in production from Karnataka, Gujarat and other parts of the country,” he said.
Arrivals in the Vashi market, in Navi Mumbai, have also fallen. Currently, the market sees the arrival of 40,000 boxes of mangoes, as compared to 70,000 boxes this time last year.
Even in the Pune market, mango traders have complained of a dip in arrivals. Rohan Ursal, a commission agent, said, “The arrivals in March and April were much below expectations. Quality concerns have kept the prices in check, with a peti of Konkan Hapus trading at around Rs 600-700,” he said.
While the next batch of the fruit is expected to arrive after April 20, the prices may rise.