Lucknow, May 29 (PTI) In some bad news for people who are fond of Lucknowi Dussehri and other varieties of mangoes, the production of the king of the fruits has been hit by around 70 per cent in the mango belt of Uttar Pradesh due to adverse weather conditions this year, according to growers.

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The prices of the pulpy fruit are also expected to soar this summer season due to low production, they said.

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"The production of mangoes in Uttar Pradesh ranged from 35 to 45 lakh metric tonnes every year, but this time production of 10-12 lakh metric tonnes is expected. Therefore, mango will be sold in the market at a very high price and people fond of mango will have to spend more money," Mango Growers Association of India President Insram Ali told PTI.

Unusually high temperature during the flowering season in February and March this year has hit the mango crop, Ali said. A maximum temperature of 30 to 35 degrees Celsius is required during the flowering season but this year the temperature soared to 40 degrees Celsius in March itself, damaging the mango flowers, he added.

Malihabad of Lucknow is the major centre of mango production and its Dussehri mango is famous all over the world for its flavour.

Mohammad Naseem, a mango grower from Malihabad, said that he has never seen such a bad mango crop in his entire life. "Thousands of mango growers of UP have suffered a setback due to the destruction of the mango crop," he said.

According to meteorologists, the month of March was the hottest in the last 122 years while the month of April was the hottest in the last 50 years.

Insram Ali said that the mangoes of UP are exported to many countries, including Saudi Arabia, the US, the UK and Germany. However, this year the state will not be able to meet the domestic demand itself.

In a double whammy, mango exporters who could not send the fruit to overseas markets in the last two years due to the Covid-19-related restrictions would suffer losses this year also.

"Exporters were hopeful that this time they will make good profits but the crop failure has dented their hopes," Ali added.

India is the largest producer of mango in the world and accounts for around 50 per cent of the global mango output. Mangoes are grown in many states, including Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar and Gujarat, but there is a special demand for Lucknowi Dussehri in the market.

Lucknow, Pratapgarh, Hardoi, Saharanpur, Barabanki and Sitapur are known as the mango belt of Uttar Pradesh.

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