India's annual mango harvest hit by damaging storms

Farmers in northern and central India are hoping their crops survive strong winds and heavy rains.

    Farmers the world over are at the mercy of the weather when it comes to the successful cultivation and harvest of their crops. None more so than in India, where farmers rely on favourable weather conditions for their annual harvest of mangos.

    This week, a line of thunderstorms with heavy rain and high winds gusting to over 50 kilometres an hour, swept across northern areas of India leaving extensive damage in their wake.

    Nearly 70 percent of the mango crop in Malihabad in Uttar Pradesh was damaged as the fruit was blown off trees and mango trees uprooted.

    India produces over 50 percent of the world's mangos, or "The King of Fruits" as it is known locally. Nearly all of India's states grow mangos, with Uttar Pradesh in the north and Andhra Pradesh in the south, producing the most each year.

    For many farmers, the annual crop of mangos is their only source of income, so when that crop fails, it has disastrous repercussions.

    Their only option is to sell the fruit off cheaply in local markets, making a fraction of their usual annual income.

    Each year, India exports mangos to countries around the world. In 2017, India is preparing to export mangos for the first time to Australia, and is set to increase the volume of its shipment to the United States - so a successful annual harvest is crucial.

    With the heat set to increase across much of northern and central India over the coming days, farmers throughout the country will be hoping the threat of heavy rain and strong winds subside. 

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies


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