Agri Business

Now, Maharashtra and Karnataka lock horns over mangoes

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on April 15, 2021

Sale of ‘fake’ Alphonsos from neighbouring Karnataka eating into margins of Konkan growers

The king of mangoes – Alphonso – is at the centre of a battle between Maharashtra and Karnataka. After getting complaints from mango growers in Maharashtra that Alphonso-like produce from the bordering State are eating into their margins, Maharashtra’s Agriculture Minister Dada Bhuse has stepped into the fray.

He said stringent legal action would be taken against those involved in selling ‘fake’ Alphonsos in the market.

The Minister has asked Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMC) markets to keep a watch on traders passing off other varieties of mangoes as Alphonso. Vaibhav Naik, MLA from the Konkan region recently approached the Agriculture Minister with a complaint that Maharashtra’s Alphonso growers were suffering heavy losses because of “fake” Alphonsos from the neighbouring State.

Unique GI tag

Alphonso mangoes from Konkan have a GI (geographical indications) tag for their unique taste, aroma and colour. Violation of GI of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999, attracts a jail term of six months and ₹50,000 in penalty.

Even as some scientists believe that the Portuguese brought Alphonso to Konkan, researchers and farmers in the region assert that it is a local product and the Portuguese took it to the world market.

The king of mangoes is one of the major sources of income for the Konkan farmers. Devesh Deodhar, a trader, who got Alphonsos to sell in the Pune market, said he tried to retail them for ₹1,200 (small size) and ₹1,500 ( big size) per dozen. “But some consumers said that they were getting it at ₹500 per dozen. Any grower of Alphonso cannot afford to sell the fruit at this rate. Obviously, there are other varieties of mangoes which are being sold as Alphonso,” he points out.

Varieties grown

India is home to about 1,000 varieties of mango. However, only a few varieties are commercially cultivated throughout India. Maharashtra farmers mainly grow Alphonso, Kesar and Pairi while Karnataka farmers grow Alphonso, Totapuri, Banganapalli, Pairi, Neelum and Mulgoa.

According to APEDA, the major mango-growing States are Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. Uttar Pradesh ranks first in mango production with a share of 23.47 per cent and the highest productivity.

Published on April 14, 2021

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