Sunday, January 17, 2010

Mango has become dearer

Mango flowering begins usually towards the end of January but this time the flowering took place in November and the fruit ripened early.
But unfortunately rains, fog, gusty winds and excessive atmospheric moisture affected the flowering, resulting in powdery mildew, a fungal disease affecting the flowers. This powder-like substance on the flowers prevents fruit formation and even if fruits are formed, they drop off early, resulting in less yield.
The present market price of the fruit has disappointed mango lovers a lot. Even last year, the yield of mangoes in Mysore region was below average. With the same trend continuing this year too, mango sellers are not expecting profit. The buyers too are taking the brunt of price escalation.
"We were hopeful of a good crop this year as it had failed last year, but it was not to be so due to unseasonal flowering and moisture," rued a mango merchant Vairmudi, who is in this trade for more than 40 years.
Mango Mandi in Mysore
If you visit Akbar Road in Mandi Mohalla, popularly known as 'Mango Mandi', you will get to buy the 'king of fruits' mango, at wholesale prices. This place is the oldest one in the city where all varieties of mangoes are traded in bulk quantities.
This is a wholesale mango market, flooded with mangoes of different varieties like Badami, Raspuri, Neelam, Benusha, Malgova, Saindura, Bainganpalli and Mallika which are brought here from surrounding areas such as Srirangapatna, Nanjan-gud, Bannur, Hunsur, T.Narasipura, Heggadadevanakote, K.R. Nagar and even from outside the State like Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
Though the entire area is a mango market, most of the mango mandis are located inside homes of traders. There are more than 180 such traders. Most of these vendors have been trading in the fruit since their childhood, continuing the family business from their elders.
Retail vendors start flocking the market as early as 5 am along with mango trucks, and pushcart vendors assembling there for a bargain purchase. Before selling, the fruits are sorted out based on size, quality, ripeness and colour. By 10.30 am, the whole business is completed and the mandi appears deserted.
Speaking to Star of Mysore, C. Basavaraj, Senior Assistant Director of Horticulture, said, "We guide farmers to cultivate Badam and Raspuri since the returns are high and the fruit delicious."
Last year, the price of Badami was Rs.20-25 per kg, which has now gone up to Rs.35, while Raspuri which was being sold for Rs. 20 to 25, is now being sold for Rs. 28 to Rs.30 per kg.
The North Indian variety, Langra, is also available in the market, but the demand is less. There is more demand for Raspuri but the supply is less this season, says a trader.
Price tag
Types Present year Last year
Badami Rs. 30 to Rs. 35 Rs. 20 to Rs. 25
Raspuri Rs. 28 to Rs. 30 Rs. 20 to Rs. 25
Malgova Rs. 30 to Rs. 32 Rs. 18 to Rs. 20
Thothapuri Rs. 08 to Rs. 12 Rs. 06 to Rs. 10
Neelam Rs. 12 to Rs. 16 Rs. 06 to Rs. 08
Saindura Rs. 08 to Rs. 15 Rs. 10 to Rs. 12
[ Monday 18th May 2009]

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