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India: Dry spell spells doom for mango growth

A part of Malda's rural economy that is dependent on mango cultivation, has been adversely hit due to the ongoing dry spell. Besides suffering stunted growth, the mango fruits are falling off the trees at random much to the anxiety of the mango growers and traders alike.

“We are praying for heavy rains to save us from the imminent crisis. We fear the situation will soon turn worse with the nor'westers. Small growers and traders who had invested money in this business are facing a huge loss this year,” Mr Subodh Mishra, secretary, Malda Mango Merchants’ Association said.

According to him, some solvent orchard owners and traders set up shallow pumps to irrigate their orchards to prevent the fruits from falling off but the rest are at the receiving end. “The production could go down as low as 25 per cent as compared to the average this year,” he added.

The Mango Development Officer in Malda, Mr S N Khara, said that out of 26,000 hectare of mango orchards in the district, only 6,500 hectares show growth of mango. Malda produces 2,50,000 MT mango every year on an average.


Publication date: 4/9/2009


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