The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the cyclonic storm Tauktae have adversely impacted the livelihood of mango farmers and traders in several states.
Already hit with a market slowdown due to lockdowns amid the COVID-19 pandemic, farmers along the Konkan coast, famous for Alphonso mangoes, faced huge economic losses due to the damage caused to their plantations by Cyclone Tauktae.
Gusty winds and heavy rain spell uprooted several mango trees.
In Gujarat, the officials of the state horticulture department speculate that the 'mango season' is likely to end early this year as gusty winds and torrential rain brought by Cyclone Tauktae destroyed orchards. Besides, the winds gusting up to 180 km per hour caused fruits to fall from trees at the peak of the season.
The loss is still being ascertained by the officials of the respective district administration. The farmers, who took a loan for the plantation, are concerned as they don't see a way out to pay back their loans let alone make some profit. They have requested the government to consider a bailout or adequate compensation from the respective state governments.
Given the damage caused by the cyclone, agriculture scientists have suggested the farmers in Gujarat to pluck as many mangoes as they can and sell them. Taking cognizance of the damage, PM Modi, last week, announced an immediate relief of Rs 1,000 crore for storm-hit Gujarat.
West Bengal produces several varieties of mangoes including Langra, Himsagar and Fazli. Similarly, mango is produced in vast areas of Gir Somnath, Talala and Amreli districts in Gujarat.
In Odisha, paddy farmers have suspended harvesting ahead of cyclone Yaas. Last year too, farmers of the state had suffered widespread damage due to Cyclone Amphan.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has said that mango, cashew and coconut plantations have suffered the maximum damage in the state. The CM added that he would seek a relief package from the Centre.