The mango farmers of Muthalamada have been struck by the untimely showers of December and continual attack by a puzzling variety of thrips. They have got hardly 25% of the yield when the Muthalamada mango season peaked by the beginning of February.
Muthalamada mangoes take a special place across India, especially in the north, as they are the first mangoes to hit the market in January-February. Till mid-March, Muthalamada mangoes usually fetch good price in the market; but not this year. The farmers said the untimely showers of December had destroyed the flowers to a large extent. Attack by a new variety of thrips has virtually shattered the dreams of the farmers by destroying the flowers.
“The untimely rains caused the flowers to drop, and the thrip attack has been beyond the control of the farmers. We got hardly 20% of the yield that we ought to get by this time,” said Hafees J.M., mango trader and exporter from Muthalamada. He said that apart from the heavy crop loss, mango sale and export too had dipped considerably in the post-COVID-19 scenario. “Mango export rate has gone up. But the sales have fallen for obvious reasons. Flight movement is minimal in the pandemic time,” Hafees told thehindu.com.
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