Erratic weather conditions have affected the Alphonso mango harvest this season. Unseasonable rainfall, coupled with extreme heat during the day, damaged the crop and production is expected to be 25-40% lower, industry players have observed.
As a result, the arrival of mangoes at the Navi Mumbai Agricultural Commodity Market Committee (APMC), which is usually around 40,000 boxes at this time each year, is almost 50% lower this year, officials said. responsible for the market committee.
This means consumers may have to shell out more for their favorite seasonal fruits. Sanjay Pansare, APMC Fruit Market Manager, said, “Currently, the price for each box (about four to five dozen) ranges from Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000, depending on the variety of mangoes and which district they come from. Even though it is the start of the mango season, the demand for the fruit has exploded. Almost all boxes are sold out at the end of each day. »
Alphonso mangoes on Devgad Alphonso – the online sales portal of the Devgad Taluka Mango Growers Co-operative Society Limited – are available at premium prices. A dozen A1+ grade Alphonso mangoes (300g each) are sold for 2,892, A1 mangoes (275g each) are priced at Rs 2,658 per dozen while the cheapest variety (175g each) is sold for Rs 1,114 per dozen on the portal. The Devgad Alphonso variety is considered to be of the highest quality.
Vivek Bhide, chairman of the Konkan Alphonso Mango Producers and Sellers Cooperative Association, and a practicing health professional who also owns a mango orchard with 1,500 trees in Ratnagiri, said production had dropped by 40-60%. Every year around 125,000 boxes of Alphonso mangoes arrive at the Navi Mumbai market during the Gudi Pawda festival. But this time, only 21,800 boxes have reached the market and arrivals continue to remain poor, he said. Farmers may have sold some of their production in private markets, probably similar to what they sell in APMCs, he explained.
Bhide said the first and second blooms were totally damaged due to off-season rainfall and March heat. It has been raining for four days in the region. Growers will therefore need to spray fruit to prevent further damage.
Flowering of mangoes sometimes starts as early as November or usually in December in the Konkan region of Maharashtra. Alphonso is grown on about 1.15 lakh hectares in Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Raigad and Thane districts of Maharashtra. Recognized for its unique taste, aroma and superior quality, the Alphonso mango is highly appreciated.
The peak in arrivals will start from late April and continue for a month, Bhide said. Once fruits start arriving from all markets, supplies will improve and prices will also drop to around 800 to 1,200 rupees per dozen for good quality varieties, he said. Amar Desai of Mango Desai Products pointed out that they now send a few workers to harvest the fruits for a few days a week. During the normal season, workers are sent daily to the orchards.
Govind Hande, Advisor, Export Cell, Horticultural Department of Maharashtra, said that in general, the annual production is over 1,00,000 tons (about 400 million mangoes) of which 60,000 tons are exported to Dubai, the United States. USA, Japan and some European countries. . Meanwhile, farmer cooperatives like the Devgad Growers Association and several others have taken the online route to reach consumers.