Mango production nosedives

Sekhar Regmi

Biratnagar, May 31:

Mango production in the district has hit rock bottom, leading to a heavy hike in mango price. Siraha and Saptari are taken as maximum output zone for mangoes where the production has been very low this year, regional agricultural directorate of Biratnagar informed. This probably is the first case of low mango production in the eastern development zone. hagirathi Yadav, assistant agriculture promotion executive in the directorate, said that mango production in all eastern districts has been minimal. According to directorate statistics, total mango production this year in Siraha and Saptari is only five per cent of previous year’s production. Similarly, mango production in Jhapa, Morang and Sunsari is also two per cent of previous year. Overall, mango production is very less, the directorate informed. Executive Yadav said that the major cause of low mango output is because of the alternate bearing nature of mango plants. Last year, mango production was very high with each plant bearing almost 500 kg of mangoes.

Despite Dhankuta, Udaypur, Ilam and Okhaldhunga districts have suitable environment for mango cultivation and this year, only one per cent of pervious year’s output has been seen there. With this low mango production, the market is witnessing a scarcity of mangoes. Only Amrapali and Mallika species are available, species which bear fruits every year. Bal Ram Koirala, chief of district agriculture development office, said that production of even Amrapali and Mallika mangoes is less this year. Popular mango species such as Malda, Bombay, Kisanbhog, Kalkattia, Suryapuri, Sipia and Lal Gulab have not been seen in the market and businessmen have started to import mangoes from India. Amir Shah, a businessman from Biratnagar, said, “The demand for mango is very high but we don’t have mangoes.” They have started to import mangoes from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh but production of mango in India is also very low this year.