The high speed winds and heavy rains that lashed across Lucknow and several other parts of Uttar Pradesh on Sunday night have also destroyed at least 25 per cent of the fruit crop in the Malihabad mango belt.
Insram Ali, president, All India Mango Growers Association, said: "The erratic weather conditions that began with a harsh winter and non-seasonal rains have already reduced the yield by about 30 per cent. Sunday''s storm has dealt a severe blow to the crop and even the trees have been damaged this time."
He said that a large amount of the semi-ripe crop, especially the ''Dussehri'' variety, has dropped off due to the winds: "Selling the semi-ripe mangoes (that can be used to make chutney or stored as ''khatai'') in the retail market is also not an option because of the lockdown. The Dussehri has also been damaged and the fruit has become stained.”
The mango varieties that mature late or after Dussehri like the ''Chausa'', ''Langda'', ''Safeda'' and ''Lakhnauva'' are also been adversely impacted by the weather conditions.
The mango cultivation in north and central UP is spread over 450,000 hectares and Uttar Pradesh is the second largest mango-producing state after Andhra Pradesh. The mango is a very weather-sensitive crop, especially during its flowering stage, which is the first stage of the crop.
"The entire mango cycle has been delayed this year because of weather conditions. Repeated rains and hailstorms are further damaging the yield. This could affect the taste of the fruit too," said Insram Ali.