RAJKOT: The unexpected bout of rainfall and stormy weather has caused extensive damage to the kesar crop in Gir-Somnath and in the last two days.

In several orchards, large number of mangoes that were still ripening were blown away by strong winds and lie scattered on the ground. As it is, the ripening this season has already been slow due to low temperature and double weather, farmers and agriculture experts said.

According to a rough estimate farmers nearly 35-30% percent crop has been damaged due to the inclement weather. As a result, farmers expect the mango arrival in markets to get delayed by around 20-30 days.

Talala in , which is the highest producer of kesar mangos, was pounded by heavy unseasonal rain on Wednesday.

Jayesh Hirpara, who has a mango orchard in Jamvala near Talala, said, “Generally, we start selling raw mangoes by this time of the year. But we are still to see flowering on many trees. Moreover, there is no uniformity in the crop this season. We are seeing different sizes of mangoes on different trees. Some are of the size of beetle nut and some as small as chickpeas.”

Generally, the raw mango sell for Rs 40 -Rs 50 per kg in the market at this time, but the price has shot up to Rs 150 per kg due to shortage of fruits.

Bhagirath Damalia, director of Gir Krushi Vasant Producer Company Ltrd which has 132 mango farmers of Talala as members said, “Due to the unseasonal rain and climate change, nearly 30% crop has been damaged.”

Kesar starts arriving in the markets by April every year, but this year it is expected to be delayed by 20 to 30 days due to prolonged cold conditions.

In Amreli, the damage to kesar crop has been reported in Khambha, and Dhari talukas.

Dakubhai Baldha, who grows mangoes on 100 bigha land in Pithvadi village said, “There was no rain here, but due to stormy winds mangoes from large number of trees were damaged.”

Gir-Somnath and Junagadh district produce average two lakh ton kesar mangoes every year.

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