Shortage of water may reduce the production of Kesar mangoes this year, say experts and farmers. They said that a significant part of the first phase of flowering was damaged in South Gujarat and Kutch. The production could fall further if the weather does not remain conducive for next three months, they fear.
While the state government has already warned the citizens of a shortage of water in upcoming Summer, it will also take a toll on the production of Kesar mangoes, which people crave for.The flowering has been good. The growth of fruit is also normal. The weather has been by and large conducive to flowering and growth. However, shortage of water may have some effect in the later part of the season. Inadequate water may reduce the production by 10-15%,BK Kikani, former vice chancellor of Junagadh Agriculture University (JAU) told DNA.
Shortage of water reduces size and production of mangoes but makes the fruit more sweeter.The prediction of weather department that heat will increase from March 15 onwards is a good news for mango farmers,said Kikani.
However, farmers in South Gujarat and Kutch are not so optimistic. Mukund Desai, secretary of farmers,cooperative in Gadad in Navsari district said that the first phase of flowering was damaged because of unfavourable weather and its the subsequent stages of flowering that farmers are hopeful about.The daily range of temperature is widening now. We are already witnessing 38 degree Celsius. If the range widens further, the crop will be damaged,said Desai.
Veljibhai Bhudia, a farmer of Madhapur village in Kutch also said a significant part of the first stage of flowering has been lost and all hopes are now from subsequent flowering. Prolonged cold weather is hurting the crop.We are closely watching how next three weeks will be. If the weather remains unfavourable, the production could fall to about 30 percent,said Desai.
He said that naturally ripe mangoes have their tip caved in and have brown ash-like deposits there. & Only these mangoes will give you the taste of real Kesar mangoes. In other cases, the consumers will be disappointed,he said.
Wait until April to relish Kesar
While local markets have started receiving mangoes from South India, an expert said,that one should wait until the end of April to relish naturally ripened Kesar mangoes. Farmers and traders pluck the fruit prematurely and ripen them artificially to sell them early in the market. However, Kesar mangoes cannot ripen naturally until the end of April.