Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Kesar Mango Keri Junagadh District News Saurashtra Gujarat India

Trees laden with mangoes in November, experts say climate change a factor.

Mangoes usually mean the onset of summer in Gujarat. But this year, the farmers in Saurashtra hinterland, famous for its Kesar variety of mangoes, are a perplexed lot– the mango trees are either laden with fruits or have flowers in full bloom.

Agricultural scientists have undertaken the study in the phenomenon and believe the climate change could be a possible factor.

The phenomenon is seen in mango trees in Talala taluka in Junagadh district and in villages around Godhra. So far, these trees were never known to have flowered or given fruit off season.

The farmers in the region, though happy to take mango crop, are puzzled to see mango trees flowering and bearing fruit in October-November. Many of them have approached the nearby agriculture universities and horticulture institutes to know if the crop will have any negative effect.

Vipul Palani, a farmer in Talala Town(Gam) who has a Kesar mango orchard spread over 10 acres of land, said he has never witnessed such an activity in the past. “So far, we have seen increase or reduction in the yield but trees bearing mango fruit at this time is totally new for us,” said Palani. He approached the Junagadh Agricultural University’s horticulture department and informed them about the development.

Congress leader Jayesh Patel has mango trees in an orchard just five kilometers from Godhra city. Patel said while he has harvested the mangoes in one of the orchards, another orchard belonging to him has also started bearing fruit.

“I come from a family of farmers but I have never seen flowering of the trees and ready mango fruit during this season of the year,’’ said Patel.

“Several mango trees in the premises of Swaminarayan temple and Eagle Pipe Factory in Junagadh City are bearing good fruit,” said Dr A V Barad, the head of the Horticulture Department, Junagadh Agriculture University (JAU).

Barad said the university is yet to study the development in detail, but the most plausible and scientific reason could be climate change.

Dr A R Pathak, Director (Research) and Dr N J Vihol, associate professor with the Department of Horticulture, Anand Agriculture University, said the phenomenon is unusual. “We are getting reports from different areas of the state with trees bearing mangoes. This is a subject of study for horticulturists,” said the two scientists.

According to the scientists, environmental changes could have affected the flowering and fruit bearing habits of the seasonal variety of mangoes. “But our scientists have commenced the study to find the exact scientific reason for it,” said Pathak.

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