Pune will have to wait longer than usual this year to taste Hapus mangoes, a seasonal variety from the Konkan region. A prolonged monsoon and late onset of the winter chill has meant delayed flowering of the fruit.
In a normal year, the mango orchards in Konkan would report multiple spells of flowering by December, giving traders a rough idea about the quality and quantity of the fruit to be expected in summer. The fruits usually arrive in markets by late March, with Pune’s market yard receiving a bulk of the consignments by the first week of April.
Vivek Bhide, chairman of the Konkan Hapus Amba Utpakad Vikreta Sahakari Sanghtha, a cooperative body of mango growers from Ratnagirir district of Maharashtra, said this year flowering has been delayed due to continuous rains. “Also the onset of winter has been delayed which has resulted in very late flowering,” he said.
Ground reports indicate that just 5-6 percent of the orchards would have market-ready fruits by March. “Arrivals would improve only post late April,” Bhide said.
Ajit Gogate, chairman of the Devgad taluka Amba Utpadak Sahakari Sangtha, another cooperative society of mango growers said the orchards are yet to report flowering. “It will be only late April that the Pune and Mumbai markets would report good arrivals of fruits,” he said.
Both farmers and traders are unable to ascertain the quality or quantity of the produce that will come to the market this year. “Only thing that is certain is that the fruit would be delayed,” Gogate said.
Highly valued for its taste, smell and texture, this mango variety also commands a good price in overseas markets.
Recently, the growers from Konkan had won GI tag for their produce, meaning growers from other regions can’t brand their produce as Hapus or Alphonso.