The list of crops being a victim to unfavorable weather in Gujarat seems to be growing day-by-day. Now fluctuating temperatures coupled with foggy and cloudy weather since last couple of days in Saurashtra and Kutch regions has damaged the Kesar mango crop.
Along with foggy weather in early morning and heat waves during the day, Kesar mango crop has delayed from mid April to end of May or in June this year.
"Fog works as acid for mango plant and forces the tree to shed the small fruit. Since last one week, mango fruit have been shed from trees in several parts of Saurashtra and Kutch," said Batuksinh Jadeja of Ashapura Farm and Nursery from Kutch.
The phenomena has also been seen in Junagadh district. "An extended period of cold season and now foggy and unstable weather has taken a toll on the Kesar mango crop. Since last one week trees have shed the fruit prematurely in Gir area," said Harsukh Jarsaniya, secretary Talala Agriculture Produce Market Committee.
According to Jarsaniya, mango fruit in Gir area has not developed properly and as a result t Kesar mango is likely to come at the end of May or in June this year. Moreover, in this condition it is hard to predict production estimate."
In normal condition Kesar mango arrives in mid April but since last two years mango arrival has been delayed by a month due to unfavorable weather.
This year Kesar mango arrival will be delayed by almost one and a half month.
"It is hard to predict but it is sure that mango production in Saurashtra will be less than last year," said Jarsaniya.
Ravajibhai Chovatiya, head of horticulture department, Junagadh Agriculture University said, "Atmosphere is not so good for Kesar mango at present. Weather is neither cold nor hot for mango which is affecting it adversely."
During the season, about 33 percent mango crop comes to Talala APMC for auction. Most of the farmers trade their products in APMCs at Rajkot, Junagadh, and Ahmedabad, among other places. Production of Kesar mango stood at 3.33 million boxes (each box containing 10 kg) in 2011, which had declined by 959,000 boxes from 4.29 million boxes of 2010.