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India: Unseasonal shower damages mango production and vegetables

The Times of India report that the recent showers damaged almost 70% of the mango crop in the Konkan area. Besides that,it affected leafy greens, tomatoes and onions in this state, possibly driving up vegetables' prices. But the maximum damage was done to the mangoes, which were in their flowering stage.

The Agriculture Department is still collecting data on the losses caused by cyclone Ockhi. But rough estimates revealed that the damage to all vegetables has been 70% or more. This is because the leafy greens, onions and tomatoes on the fields in the Nashik, Konkan and Kolhapur districts are catching bacterial and fungal infections.

Major sufferers have been chillies, tomatoes, cucumber, cabbage, cauliflower and fenugreek with around 70-80% crops affected. The continuous humidity has also been adding to the problems. Consequently, the prices of vegetables may rise in the next few days.

Growers in Nashik have seen average losses of 40% on their fields because of the recent rainy spell — the highest in onions,tomatoes, soybean and cotton. "Food grains have been affected, too, because the rain causes discolouration. Out of the 100kg expected during a harvest, only 60kg seem to be marketable. Close to 40% of onions harvested turnout wet and damaged.

Vegetable prices had only recently dipped after supplies normalized following the rainy spell during Diwali. The recent rain may again push up the prices in the face of supply shortages.

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