The fear of Covid has started casting a shadow on the mango growers in Malihabad who fear that restrictions may affect business for the second consecutive year.
Last year, mango trade was adversely affected due to lockdown which prevented transportation and exports of the fruit. Business was hit further due to unavailability of labour and pesticides.
“We had a bad business year in 2020 and now when the mango season is approaching, the fear of Covid is raising its head again. Last year, we could not send the fruits to even other states due to the lockdown. Many mango growers have been unable to clear their loans of last year and if sanctions are again imposed, we will face hard times again,” said Insram Ali, president of the All India Mango Growers Association.
Mansoor Miyan, a mango grower, said that certain reports that one should not smell the fruit at the time of buying is also hampering business.
“People invariably buy mangoes after smelling them. If this is prohibited, customers will not buy and this will impact our sales,” he said.
Malihabad, Mall and Kakori are three tehsils on the outskirts of Lucknow that are a part of the mango belt in the state.