Hyderabad: A fleshy and juicy mango may be just a dream for the city this year. Officials and experts say that climate change may have taken away the joy of mangoes, as many orchards are struggling to flower and bear fruit this time around. As a result, the king of fruit may be in short supply or exorbitantly priced this season.
“There are chances the mango produce this year would be sub-par,” G V Ramanjenayulu, executive director of the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, told Deccan Chronicle. “Reason: There has been unseasonal rainfall and a lack of winter. Some varieties have not flowered at all.”
Principal secretary, agriculture, B Janardhan Reddy, concurred, adding that mango flowering was delayed by 20 days due to climatic factors.
“We have advised farmers to irrigate the mango crop through drip-irrigation method. For a tree 10 years or older, it must have 60 to 75 litres,” the principal secretary said.
The varieties that have not borne any flowers are Benishaan and Dasheri.
“Usually Karimnagar and Kurnool bear the Benishaan variety, whereas the Rasaalu comes from Andhra Pradesh. These are largely consumed in the city. Chittoor has had a decent crop but it is meant for processing and not direct consumption,” said Ramanjenayulu.
Official records show that mango plantation takes place on 2.8 to 3 lakh acres and bears 10 lakh metric tons of fruit.
“This time, flowering was late due to erratic climate, and the quantum of produce doesn’t look promising. For a mango tree to flower, it must be exposed to cold climates — 15°C — for a period of 15 days at least. But there was no cold climate in the state last year. To trigger flowering, the temperature must initially be lower and gradually rise,” said Kiran Kumar Adapa, associate dean of the horticulture university in Rajendra Nagar.