Pune’s mango season has entered its last leg, with arrivals from both Konkan and Karnataka dwindling significantly. Traders operating out of Pune’s wholesale market at Gultekdi said they expect the season to be over within the next 10 days.
Orchards in the mango growing zone of the state had reported a 20 per cent dip in production due to the unseasonal rains which struck the area last year. Also, last year, the mango season had coincided with the national lockdown with wholesale markets being shut for business. Farmers had taken to exploring direct markets for their fruits as the wholesale markets remained closed.
This year, the mango season had started late with growers from Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg reporting their first harvest only towards the end of March. The growers from Raigad had reported a very late season with mangoes from that district arriving in mid-April. Pune’s markets reported the first arrival of Karnataka mangoes towards the end of March.
A lean season had seen quality fruit growers commanding good prices for their produce. Rohan Ursal, a commission agent operating out of Pune’s wholesale market, said this season the average price fetched by farmers was around Rs 600/dozen. At the retail end, mangoes from Ratnagiri commanded prices of over Rs 1,000-,1200 per dozen at the start of the season, which later corrected to the present rate of Rs 700-800/dozen. Alphonso from Karnataka at present is retailing at Rs 1,000-1,500 per 4 – 5 dozens depending on the quality. “At the farm end, the market rejects have also fetched good price for farmers,” said Ursal.
This year, the decision to keep the markets both wholesale and retail open, even during the lockdown has helped the mango trade go on smoothly. The state government had allowed the sale of retail markets to operate from 7 am to 11 am which though short was enough for mango traders to push their ware.
A short season has seen exports being hit with most export houses talking about the paucity of quality produce. The cyclone Tauktake had hit the availability of the Kesar mangoes which makes for the majority of the consignments headed overseas. Mokal said the cyclone has destroyed many fruit-growing trees. “Such destruction has pushed farmers back years together and the government should give a lumpsum amount to them,: he said