Already shattered by the current lockdowns, the West Bengal mango trade is about to have another jolt of devastation due to approaching super cyclone Amphan. After the landfall near Kolkata, Amphan is predicted to swipe over Bengal's main mango zones in South 24 Paraganah, Murshidabad or Malda by Thursday afternoon.
With its annual production of around 2 million ton, West Bengal is one of the largest contributors to India's national mango output of around 22 million ton (mt) that is near 40% of global yield. Incidentally all the mango producing zones in West Bengal like districts of Malda, Murshidabad or South 24 Parganas are industrially backward and highly dependent on this perishable seasonal fruit.
"The lockdown right at the peak of Mango harvesting has ruined this season's sale. But Amphan is likely to destroy trees and orchards causing massive long loss for many future seasons," said Shaukat Ali, an orchard owner. Apart from 50,000 growers like Ali, there are other 2.5 lakh people dependent on mango in Malda district alone.