A Mango Shortage May Be Coming. Here's Why

Sweet, juicy mangos are a favorite all around the world, especially in India. An emblem of national pride, mangos are integral to Indian cuisine, used in smoothies, chutneys, and curries. Unsurprisingly, India is the world's leading mango producer, accounting for nearly 50% of global production in 2019, notes Statista. However, this could be changing as the country is now facing a potential mango shortage.

Back in April 2021, Eat This, Not That shared news of a mango shortage, outlining that meager harvests couldn't keep up with supermarket demand. With stress placed on producers to export fruit that meets size requirements, a lot of viable produce often goes to waste. But the issue of unreliable produce stems much deeper.

Unusual changes in weather patterns characterize climate change, but they also provide a reason for the decline in agricultural yields. Rising temperatures, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, affect the whole food system from the availability of resources to the quality and yield, and even access to these foods.

Blame climate change for the potential mango shortage

While most of the mango produced in India is consumed domestically, The New York Times explains that recently, the country has been exporting tens of millions of dollars' worth of mangoes across the globe — that is until sweltering heat paved the way to a possible shortage.

Battling restrictions on imports, and even yield-depleting pests, as noted by The Print, none of these factors influence mango production as much as climate change. According to the South China Morning Post, frequent rainfall and extreme changes in temperature can negatively alter the mango's flowering and fruiting patterns, resulting in fewer mangos that are less ripe and of lower quality. Similarly, Times of India reports that the effects of climate change have also left an uneven ratio of male to female flowers, impacting yields.

Naturally, a mango shortage would have damaging results on food security in India, particularly in the region of Malihabad, where small-scale producers rely on their mango production for their livelihood, as stated by The New York Times. With the population (and the effects of climate change) expected to grow exponentially, the future of food is greatly at risk of disappearing — could mango be next?