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An Egyptian farmer carries a box of mangoes at a field in Wadi Al-Natrun area in Al-Beheira governorate, on Aug. 26, 2017. CAIRO — Farmer Khaled Hussein waited eagerly for the mango harvest to start so he could pluck them from his dozens of mango trees on his five-acre farm. The mango harvest season starts in the city in June and comes to an end in September or October. Come the harvest season, however, there were no mangoes on the trees.
Like other farmers in Egypt’s mango cultivation hub of Ismailia, 127 kilometers (79 miles) northeast of Egyptian capital Cairo and near the Suez Canal, Hussein had only to collect the mangos and hand them over to traders, who had paid for them in advance.
“I have lost most of the output this year,” Hussein told Al-Monitor with a heavy voice. “It’s the first time in decades.”
Climate change is showing an ugly face to Egypt’s thousands of mango farmers, Hussein included. Ismailia’s mango farmers have lost over 80% of this year’s output to the rising temperatures, causing a socioeconomic catastrophe. Much of the city’s population of around 15 million people are involved in the mango business in one way or another.