Agri Business

Cyclone Tauktae wreaks havoc on summer harvest in Gujarat

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on May 20, 2021

Mango orchards stare at 80% damage; bajra, moong crops nearly washed away

Cyclone Tauktae has wreaked havoc for Gujarat farmers by destroying ready-to-harvest summer crops including kesar mango.

Even as the State government is yet to announce the final estimates on the damages, initial estimates suggest that overall farming loss stands at approximately ₹1,200 crore.

In the district of Gir Somnath, one of the worst-hit, raw (unripe) mango fruits were laid in mud and rainwater following the extremely severe cyclone. The wind speed of 160-165 kmph during the landfall and about 100-110 kmph in the subsequent hours, uprooted mango trees at many places in this Kesar mango heartland.

“The mango season was already weak and the crop was lower. The cyclone has damaged nearly 80 per cent of the crop, which has almost reduced to waste after falling into mud and water. We can’t make a guess for the price at present as market is uncertain now,” said a mango trader from Keshod.

Mango exports were already dull due to Covid-19, but the prices had hardened by about 15 per cent to about ₹900 per box of 10 kg for good quality fruits.

Market sources revealed that cyclone-hit mango would fetch around ₹200-250 per box, resulting in a massive loss for the growers.

Summer crops suffer

Other than mango, summer crops including bajra (millet), sesame seed, gram (moong) and urad also faced the fury of the storm. Premjibhai Patel, a farmer from Amreli district, informed that early-sown sesame seed crop was ready for harvest and suffered the damages.

Saurashtra region accounts for 93 per cent of the State’s sesame seed area of 97,799 hectares this year — a steep jump of 315 per cent over normal acreage of 31,014 hectares.

Gram and urad have also sustained damages in the region. Farmers have demanded relief support from the government.

Published on May 19, 2021

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