1. Agriculture World

Kesar Mango Growers Distressed Due to Crop Loss

Approximately 15 lakh Kesar mango plants cover 10,000 hectares in the area. Thousands of families rely on this type of gardening, which has a large following in the United Kingdom and the United States.

Kritika Madhukar
As the Assembly elections approach, the issue is taking on a political hue of its own
As the Assembly elections approach, the issue is taking on a political hue of its own

Dhaval Kotadiya, a 24-year-old LLB first-semester student from Gujarat's Kathiawar area, lives in Talala Taluk in Gir Somnath district. He lost his father while studying, and he was left to look after the 400 Kesar mango trees that grew on three hectares of his family's land. 

He believed the crop, which is also labeled with a geographical indicator, would continue to benefit his family. However, once Cyclone Tauktae reached the Gujarat coast in 2021, the situation became tougher. 

"After the cyclone, we received no compensation other than vague assurances." Then, in 2022, production dropped substantially. "The production on my farm was 70% lower than the prior years," Kotadiya remarked.

According to agricultural specialists, climate change is to blame for this loss. "In the region, the drop is 70%. We had requested that the State Government deploy a team of specialists to investigate the reasons for such a drastic reduction. 

"However, no action has been done yet," claimed a local BJP politician and the chairman of Talala's Sardar Patel Mango Market, one of the area's main trading centers for Kesar mangoes. 

Previously, the Agriculture Products Marketing Cooperative market traded 12-13 lakh boxes of mangoes, each weighing 10.5 kilos. "Even though the harvest season is over, we only received three lakh cartons of mangoes this year," Shingala stated.

Approximately 15 lakh Kesar mango plants cover 10,000 hectares in the area. Thousands of families rely on this type of gardening, which has a large following in the United Kingdom and the United States. 

"We used to export 500 tonnes of mangoes every year from our APMC plant on average." In 2020 and 2021, the Covid and the cyclone influenced exports. Due to the shortfall, we have only been able to send 20 tonnes this year," said APMC secretary Harsukhbhai Jarsaniya.

As the Assembly elections approach, the issue is taking on a political hue of its own. Congress has nearly all of the MLAs in the Kesar growing region. The BJP is attempting to blame the MLAs. "Our complaints were not raised in Assembly," Shingala remarked. 

He went on to say that the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh has asked the government to include mango in the farmer aid program. Congress, on the other hand, claims that the BJP government's complete indifference contributed to the farmers' misery. "MLAs do not have any special authority to assist farmers." 

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