For the second consecutive year, mango growers in the mango belt of Malihabad in Uttar Pradesh are experiencing an acute absence of buyers. The famous Dussehri variety of mangoes, grown in Malihabad, are set to hit the market by May-end but the prolonged Corona curfew is keeping the buyers away.
Insram Ali, president of the All-India Mango Growers Association, said that the weather has remained conducive for the mango crop till now.
“Favourable temperature, lack of thunderstorms and sporadic rains have made the crop flourish. We expect Dussehri to be ready in the next 10 days,” he said.
However, he said, the timing of the curfew could spell doom for mango growers.
“This is the time when the crop needs extra care, but the pandemic has restricted the people’s movement and we are facing a shortage of labour,” Ali said, adding that the growers are also not finding buyers for their produce.
“By this time, we used to find contractors who would buy the crop from us and then sell it in the market. But over 70 per cent of the orchards are still waiting for buyers,” he said.
Mandis are closed due to curfew and mangoes do not have a long shelf life. If the curbs continue, most people may not get to taste Dussehris. Also, the fruit may lose its taste and aroma if stored beyond a period.
Last year, too, most of the mango crop could not reach the market due to the lockdown in May.