Shadow of cloud on fruit, vegetable market

After mangoes, arrival of oranges, water melon and grapes takes a big hit.

Written by Parthasarathi Biswas | Pune | Published:April 15, 2015 3:27 am

Unseasonal rain and hailstorm that have hit major parts of the state have not only affected the arrival of mangoes but also fruits like oranges, pomegranates, grapes and melons.

Traders at Pune Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) say they fear supply will  reduce further in the coming days.

Since the beginning of the year, the state has been experiencing bouts of unseasonal rain and hailstorm that have affected standing crops.

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Besides wheat, onion and vegetables, major losses have been reported of mangoes, oranges, water melon, musk  melon, grapes and pomegranates, which are normally relished as seasonal delicacies.

Rohan Ursal, a trader from Pune, said that compared to last year the prices of mangoes have almost doubled with the arrival reducing to almost half. “Last year, there was arrival of 10,000-15,000 boxes of mangoes in the market every day, but this year we are only getting 3,000-3,500 boxes. While the prices of mangoes this year are varying between Rs 1,800 and Rs 2,500 per box, last year it ranged between Rs 1,000-1,500,” he said.

Ursal said supply has majorly been hit from Karnataka where farmers prefer selling the produce in the local market rather than traveling to Pune or other markets.

The Pune market has seen a major decrease in the arrival of oranges due to unseasonal rain that lashed the orchards in Ahmednagar.

Ursal said around 20-25 tonnes of oranges on a daily basis are arriving in the city which is not enough to meet the city’s need. “While last year, there was an arrival of 10-15 tempos of oranges every day, this year it has gone down to 4-5 tempos. Another issue which is plaguing the market is the inconsistent supply, with some days even marking zero arrival of oranges,” he said.

Another trader Siddharth Khaire said water melon, musk melon and pomegranates have also been hit due to unseasonal rains. Months between January and April mark the season for these fruits and unseasonal rains have damaged large tracks of the fruits in the state.

“Around 50 per cent of the pomegranates which are arriving in the market have been damaged by hail and cannot be sold. Similar is the case with water melon and musk melon. Prices of the fruits are expected to rise by around 20-30 per cent in the days to come as the supply dries up,” he said.

Around 60 per cent of vineyards in the state have been damaged due to repeated hailstorm. The season for the fruit, which normally starts in October and ends in April, has turned out to be a complete wash out due to inclement weather. Ashoke Gaikwad, president, Maharashtra State Grape Growers Association, said this year exports have fallen by around 50 per cent. “We do not have enough to meet the demand. The season has been really bad,” he said.

Prices of grapes in the wholesale markets have gone up by 10-15 per cent.

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