Due to an unusual heat wave that swept the country this year, tomato and mango production was badly affected. Mango prices jumped above Rs 100 per kilo in many parts of the country, while tomato prices also soared to Rs 100-120 per kg in some places.
Uttar Pradesh, the biggest mango producer, is experiencing the lowest yield in two decades, with more than 80% of the crop damaged due to the heatwave. UP holds a 23.47% share in India’s total mango production. While domestic prices have soared, weak production is also expected to hurt Indian exports.
Reason for low production
The scorching heat of early summer this year severely affected mango and tomato production. According to Shriram Gadhave, president of the Vegetable Growers Association of India, the heat wave has caused tomato blossoms to dry up, which is impacting production. He also said that due to the change in climatic conditions, pest attacks on tomato crops have also increased, Economic Times reported. He said that an area that used to produce 10 tons of tomatoes is now producing only 3 tons.
According to the report, the heatwave also affected mango blossoms in the same way. S Insram Ali, president of the Mango Growers Association of India, said mangoes grow best at 27 degrees Celsius and this year temperatures soared at the start of the season. He said: “Farmers will suffer a huge loss because of this (drop in production),” in the ET report.
Prices aren’t going to drop anytime soon
According to Gadhave, tomato prices will not drop until July when the new crop arrives, while mango prices are not expected to drop this year.
On the other hand, the drop in mango production is going to have an impact on the export of fresh mangoes to countries like the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait.
Earlier, South Punjab also witnessed a 60% drop in mango production due to the unprecedented spring heat wave. The mango harvest has also taken a hit in Andhra Pradesh.
Meanwhile, in Vidarbha districts, Maharashtra, orange orchards have been badly affected. The quality and quantity of the harvest have been badly affected due to the heat and poor maintenance due to the shortage of electricity.