Unprecedented Rainfall and Pesticide Usage Lead to Low Mango Yields in Andhra Pradesh Districts
Environmental News from India:
- Farmers and horticulture experts in Andhra Pradesh’s Chittoor and Tirupati districts, expect a significant decrease in mango crop yield this year. Scientists link unprecedented rainfall and heavy pesticide usage, to this fall in yield.
- The Chittoor district received a rainfall of 688 mm against a normal 395.4 mm, a deviation of 74 percent during the northeast monsoon in the months of October, November and December 2021.
- Horticulture scientists say that late flowering and fruit setting, heavy usage of chemicals for the first spray and the increase in number of male flowers, will impact the mango yield this year.
Janardhan Reddy, a mango farmer with eight acres of land, is worried about the fall in the yield of his crops. The 50-year-old farmer, from the Madithativaripalli village of Nerabilu gram panchayat that falls in the Yerravaripalem mandal of Tirupati district in Andhra Pradesh, says that he would hardly get 10 tonnes of the crop this season. This is against the regular annual yield of 40 tonnes.
Another farmer, B. Vasudeva Reddy, living 70 kilometres south of Madithativaripalli, at Abbireddivuru village in Poothalapattu mandal of Chittoor district, faces a similar challenge. He says that his 12-acre mango farm would fetch him 50 percent of the crop. Other farmers in his locality expect only 30 percent yield.
The mango crop is spread over an area of 2.76 lakh (276,000) acres in the erstwhile Chittoor district (before the recent district separation by the Andhra Pradesh government, into Chittoor and Tirupati districts), according to the Chittoor Horticulture Department.
Horticulture scientist D. Sreenivasulu Reddy, Citrus Research Station, Dr. YSR Horticulture University, connects the loss of yield with the unprecedented heavy rains that the drought-prone Rayalaseema region (where Chittoor and Tirupati lie) received between October 2021 and January 2022. The region receives more rains normally during the northeast monsoon between September and November. The Chittoor district however received a rainfall of 688 mm against a normal 395.4 mm, a deviation of 74 percent during the northeast monsoon in the months of October, November, and December 2021.
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