Heat wave hit hard mango production in India

Awesome Alphonso                  Brilliant Banganapalli

Beyond the Horizon

By Pradeep Kumar

The mango production in India in fiscal year 2021 was estimated to have amounted to around 20.9 million metric tons.  “Extreme heat conditions would impact mango and lychee fruits which are mainly grown in northern and western parts of the country,” IMD meteorology division (agriculture) head Kripan Ghosh had said on April 2 last.

“If the IMD’s prediction of a severe heat wave in April comes true, the country’s horticultural crops such as mangoes and lychees will be adversely impacted, along with its milk and poultry production”, he had said, adding district level impact-based forecasts are being issued to farmers to take adequate measures to protect their crop.

Mango, among the most important fruits produced in India know for its mangofeciant taste, is called as ‘king of the fruits’ for its nutrition value, including very rich in C Vitamins.  This special fruit equalizes the high standards of quality and bountiful of nutrients and acts as a natural potent against heart diseases, cancer, and cholesterol. About 40% of dietary fibre can be provided from a single mango. This fruit is a ‘warehouse of potassium, beta carotene, and antioxidants. It is abundantly grown in India’s tropical and subtropical parts at a sea level of 1500m in around 27°C temperatures.

They are grown in an area of 1.23 million hectares with an average annual production of almost 10.99 million tonnes, which accounts for more than 55% of the world’s total production. Indian mangoes are famous for their flavour, aroma, and taste in different shapes, sizes, and colours.

Fruits (including mango) production is estimated to remain flat at 20.33 million tonnes in 2022-23 compared to 20.38 million tonnes in 2021-22, according to statista. In case of plantation crops like coconut and cashew nut, total production is likely to decline to 15.85 million tonnes in 2022-23 as against 16.62 million tonnes in 2021-22.28-Mar-2022, it added.

However, Odisha known for producing around six to eight tonnes of mangoes per hectare with superb demand in north and south Indian markets due to early harvest. However, mango lovers in state capital Bhubaneswar lament for not savouring the king of fruits though it’s already peak summer season.

Odisha produces many indigenous mango varieties, like Baiganpalei, Golapkhas, Sundari, Subarnarekha and Amrapali which are often out there in March and April. However, this 12 months, none of those varieties are found in markets,” an official said.

Depletion in groundwater ranges has affected the fruit’s manufacturing, excessive temperatures since beginning of summer season have broken lots of fruits, horticulturists said, adding “Mango yield shall be 30% to 40% much less this 12 months on account of delayed flowering and injury to flowers. It’s an off-year for mango yield”.

To maintain high quality, the production has been set up in major production zones. The country’s requirement has recognized treatment facilities, like hot water, vapor treatment, and irradiation facilities to enhance production.

The cultivation of mango is believed to have originated in South East Asia. Mango has been cultivated in southern Asia for nearly 6,000 years and on Indian soil since centuries with its reference found in Ramayana and Mahabharta.

In India, mangoes are cultivated in Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Karnataka, Kerala, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Haryana, Maharashtra, and Gujarat.

India has about a thousand varieties of mangoes. A few varieties are being commercially cultivated, and most of them have eco-geographical requirements for optimum growth and yield. The northern/eastern India varieties are late compared to southern and western India varieties.

Important varieties of commercial mangoes are as follows: Banganapalli, Sarvanarekha, and Totapuri of Andhra Pradesh; Kesar of Gujarat; Payri, Ratna, Devgad Alphonso  & Ratnagiri Alphonso of Maharashtra; Mankurad of Goa; Totapuri, Banganpalli & Neelum of Tamil Nadu.

Uttar Pradesh ranks first in mango production with a share of 23.47% and high productivity. India produces high-quality mangoes, among which western countries highly qualify Alphonso. In Punjab, it is cultivated whole of the sub-mountain belts and has also spread to arid and irrigated areas of Northern India. Uttar Pradesh is highest mango producer of India.

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