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Gujarat’s Kesar Mangoes Under Threat of White Fungus

Gujarat’s kesar mangoes are under threat of a serious white fungal disease.

Shipra Singh
Mango tree
Mango tree

Kesar or Saffron mangoes of Gujarat are famous for their juiciness and sweetness. However, the year 2021 has come as bad news for this popular mango variety, as an unknown disease threatens the very existence of these mangoes. Raw mangoes are dropping off the trees in orchards of Talala and Gir region of Gujarat.  

A white fungus has dampened the spirits of farmers, who were anticipating a good harvest this year. The region had received unseasonal rains; yet farmers had high hopes from their saffron mango orchards that they would produce a significant yield.  

Alas, the raw mango trees are infected with a kind of white fungus in Gir region and areas surrounding Gir region. Horticultural officials of the area hoped that spraying of fungicide would control the fungus, but this did not happen.  

According to a local farmer, they have been preserving the orchard of kesar mangoes for years together. However, no year was as worse as 2021 out of the total 15-20 years. The farmer adds that the saffron husk, which often happens in saffron mango trees, does not stay on the tree for a longer duration.  

But this time, the situation has turned serious and the fungus is still present on the trees. It is leading to dropping of raw mangoes from the tree. As a result, the yield is decreasing.  

Another farmer adds that the disease has led to a destruction of about 50% of the crop. Farmers are worried. Mango orchards are showing multiple infections at the same time. Farmers have already used medicines worthy Rs. 16,000 but with no avail.  

It is likely that the price of mangoes will rise this year.  

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