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Fears of Indian mango shortage after only 50% of crop is harvested

By RJ Whitehead , 17-Apr-2014
Last updated on 18-Apr-2014 at 08:49 GMT2014-04-18T08:49:44Z

Fears of Indian mango shortage after only 50% of crop is harvested

India’s national fruit may break the bank later year with mangoes for domestic consumption in short supply owing to significant crop damage and rising export orders.

According to the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham), crop production will be up to 20% lower than last year’s yield at a time when orders are pouring in for exports to other countries.

The chamber said the expensive mangoes would likely pinch consumers’ pockets this season, with the high prices partly blamed on severe hailstorms and rain earlier this year.

Half of crop damaged

Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, which together account for about a two-thirds share in India’s total mango production, have recently witnessed nature’s wrath owing to unseasonal rains coupled with hailstorm damaging over 50% of the crop, which is likely to hold up mango arrivals resulting in upward spiralling of prices,” the Assocham’s Agri-business council noted in an analysis of the crop.

Mango production across India in all likelihood will remain about 15-20% lower than last year’s level of 18m tonnes, and even the exports are likely to remain muted this year,” said DS Rawat, secretary-general of Assocham.

This has had a significant impact on domestic demand of mangoes thereby leading to a rise in their prices,” the report added

Mango production across year across India has increased at a 5% growth rate from 13.9m tonnes in 2007-08 to 18m tonnes last year. Moreover, cultivation areas and productivity have also grown rates of 2.6% and 2.4% respectively over that period.

Of over 1,300 varieties of mangoes grown across the world, India alone cultivates over 1,000 types of the fruit.

International perspective

Southeastern state Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh in the north together account for about half of the total mangoes produced in India, with each state accounting for over 24% of production. Karnataka, Bihar and Gujarat make up for the remainder of the top five mango-producing states. India’s mango exports have grown at over 27% over the past three years. 

The UAE is Is India’s biggest mango export destination, accounting for over 60%, followed by the UK and Saudi Arabia. Qatar, Kuwait and Bangladesh are among the other leading export destinations.

The news comes weeks after it was revealed that the EU had banned Indian mangoes because of concerns relating to high levels of contamination, mainly from non-European fruit flies. Mangoes are one of five fresh products that have been banned from the European market until the end of next year.

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