Agri Business

Paying a ransom for the king of mangoes

Rahul Wadke Mumbai | Updated on November 20, 2017 Published on April 28, 2012

mangoes

ALPHONSO GETS SCARCE AND PRICEY

This mango season, ‘Alphonso' has become scarce and pricey. A prolonged winter and insect attacks have led to a sharp drop in the yield of the King of Mangoes for the second year running.

The drop in crop yield is estimated at 70 per cent this year, say traders.

Alphonso mangoes, which are primarily grown in the Konkan region of Maharashtra, command the highest price in the market because of their taste, colour and texture.

At the Navi Mumbai wholesale market, Alphonso prices have touched Rs 2,500 for five dozen mangoes or Rs 500 a dozen.

With the retail prices in the Rs 1,000-1,200 a dozen range the fruit is beyond the reach of most consumers. Last year, the prices were in the Rs 600-800 range.

The reduced supply of the fruit is borne out by the fact that since the beginning of April only 35,000 boxes (of five dozens each) have reached the market. In the normal crop season, over one lakh boxes would have hit the market in the same period.

According to fruit trader Arvind Patil, prices have also shot up because of the chase for spotless mangoes. This season, a lot of mangoes have black spots on the skin. “Though these mangoes are of good quality, customers don't want to buy them. They want bright, shiny mangoes. As a result, the prices have been pushed up even higher.”

Farmers' woes

Agriculture expert and CEO of Sankalp Farms, Mr Milind Manerikar, said “The mango farmers in Maharashtra are dependent on Alphonso variety, which is very sensitive to changes in weather. It is time they shifted to other sturdy varieties like Amrapali, Mallika and Vanraj,” he said.

> rahulw@thehindu.co.in

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Published on April 28, 2012
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