Muthalamada Mango Farmers Face Major Setback with Rs 390 Crore Loss

Mango farmers in Muthalamada, renowned as Mango City, have faced a devastating loss of Rs 390 crore this season. Traditionally the first producer of mangoes in the country, farmers managed to yield only 10 percent of their typical output in January and February, the period when mangoes fetch the highest prices. This season’s total yield plummeted to just 40 percent due to a combination of heat waves and unexpected rainfall. Despite high international market prices, the number of mangoes decreased by 60 percent, drastically affecting the usual turnover of around Rs 650 crore. The delayed rains pushed mango flowering back by two months, and the subsequent 40-degree temperatures for 60 days caused tender mangoes to fall prematurely. Inadequate micronutrients and severe water shortages further exacerbated the situation, impacting both the production and quality of the mangoes.

The adverse conditions led North Indian traders to seek mangoes from other states like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu, following campaigns that questioned the quality of Muthalamada’s produce. This shift meant Muthalamada farmers could not secure the prices they had in previous years. Mangoes are cultivated on 10,000 acres across Muthalamada and surrounding panchayats, with around 80 mango trees per acre and a total of eight lakh mango trees across the region. Approximately 35 varieties of mangoes are grown here, supporting over ten thousand people in roles ranging from farmers to traders and laborers. The combination of climatic challenges and market dynamics has delivered a severe blow to this vital agricultural community.

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