The sweetness of saffron mangoes has been eclipsed even before the onset of summer this year. The famed variety of mangoes has been affected by an unknown disease due to which the raw mangoes are falling from trees in several orchards.
In fact, people around Talala and Gir saw a wave of joy among the farmers as it was in full bloom this season. Even after unseasonal rains, farmers hoped that saffron orchards would produce a plentiful crop this time.
However, the raw crops have been infected with a white fungus in Gir and surrounding areas this year. According to the horticulture official, spraying of the drug will help in eradicating the white fungus but it was not enough.
Farmer Jesingbhai Chauhan said, “We have been preserving the saffron orchard for years. In the last 15 to 20 years, this year has been the worst. The saffron husk does not rest on the tree for a longer time and falls down very easily. The situation is serious as the production of raw mangoes is declining.”
Farmer Kalabhai said, "Due to the disease, around 50 per cent of the crop has gone. The condition of the farmer is bad. Mangos are infected with four or five diseases simultaneously. Medicines worth Rs 16,000 are also used, but there is no satisfactory result yet and the prices of mangoes will go up.”