Alphonso lovers may have to wait longer to savour the king of fruits. The constant fluctuations in the weather may affect the crop and delay the onset of the mango season.
‘Hapoos’ mango growers in the Konkan say adverse weather conditions will lead to the crop coming out in the market only in April. The freshly harvested fruit from Deogad and southern parts of the Konkan generally hits markets in February-March, followed by mangoes from Ratnagiri and other northern areas.
Mangoes are grown on 1.64 lakh hectares in the four districts on the Konkan coastline.
Dr Vivek Bhide, who owns mango orchards in Ratnagiri, said a prolonged winter and temperatures in the Konkan belt dipping below 10 degrees Celsius had affected the crop.
He added that the variation in maximum and minimum temperatures was also likely to cause a dip in production. “Production in terms of metric tonnes will fall, and considering the late flowering, the mango season will be from April 15 to May 30,” said Bhide.
He, however, said that the price of the fruit will not rise despite the low yield.
Seconding Bhide, another mango grower from Ratnagiri district said that the delay and the sudden introduction of large quantities of the fruit in the market was, in fact, likely to result in a dip in prices.
An official from the Maharashtra State Agriculture Marketing Board attributed the delay to a severe and prolonged winter. He added that the fall in temperatures will also lead to a variation in the size of the fruit. “The initial flowering was good, but the intense cold stunted the crop’s growth,” said Niranjan Dixit, advisor, Deogad Taluka Amba Utpadak Sahakari Sanstha.
He added that the fall in the mercury had affected the efficiency of the pesticides which were sprayed on the trees, and the temperature variation had led to rise in pests and infections.