Bad weather in the last leg of winter and three consecutive hailstorms have destroyed mango crop in the fruit belt of Uttar Pradesh this year. With barely 10 days to go for dussehri to hit market, the traders expect price to skyrocket.
According to them, almost 50-60 per cent of the mango crop has been damaged in UP this season due to adverse weather conditions. In Malihabad, Kakori and Rahimabad areas of Lucknow district, known for the production of dussehri mango in UP, the mango growers have been expecting little business in export this year.
Shabihul Hasan of Nafees Nursury in Malihabad says, “The dussehri price this year will be around Rs 50 per kg compared to Rs 20 to 30 last year. The crop was first damaged due to sudden fall in temperature in March and later on hailstorms added to the woes."
Hasan says insect attack has also been seen this time on the crop, making it useless for export especially to Europe and US, where quality norms are very strict.
Another mango exporter, Fauzan Sayeed, said mango trade in UP used to be worth Rs 24 billion the past two years, but this year growers are not expecting even Rs 5 billion. Dussehri production last year was around 3.8 million tonnes despite poor crop. The farmers were expecting a good crop this year but bad weather and hailstorms shattered their hopes, according to the spokesperson of Mango Growers Association, S S Singh.
The mango belt of Malihabad is spread over an area of 27,000 hectares. Known for world famous dussehri, the region exports mango mainly to the Gulf and South Asian countries. Since 2007 it has started exporting dussehri mangoes to Eurpoe and US under the brand name Nawab.