Mango farmers of Gundlav and other villages in Valsad district are a worried lot due to extreme changes in the weather.
Late flowering this season had not left them with much hope of a good harvest. Fierce storms in last two days have just added to their misery. Many mango growers are not interested in harvesting as their orchards do not have a significant yield left.
Rajesh Thakore, a mango farmer in Gundlav, said `We were already in trouble due to late flowering of mango. Now, storms in last two days have caused further damage to the crops. Many small-sized mangoes have fallen off the trees and the production from my orchard will be just about five per cent.`
The constant change in weather is likely to have an impact on mango production this year, sources say. The fogginess and heat could also affect the quality of the produce, they say.
`I am preparing to sell the mangoes that fell in my orchard during the storm. As they are unripe, I may have to sell the mangoes at very low price in the market,` adds another farmer Dhirubhai Patel of Valsad district.
`We expect mango production this year to be around 10 to 15 per cent of what it was last year. Constant change in weather and late flowering have taken their toll on the crop,` says BV Padhiar, associate professor, Navsari Agriculture University.
High temperature is also affecting mango production. South Gujarat has been experiencing about 42 degree Celsius temperature for last few days. `Because of the high temperature, mangoes turn yellowish and fall off early,` says CB Patel, associate research scientist, Fruit Research Station, Gandevi.