February 13, 2017 12:20:37 am
Mango lovers are in for a surprise this year, as Hapus mangoes might be available earlier than expected. Wholesale markets in Pune are witnessing a substantial increase in the arrival of mangoes from Kerala. Hapus mangoes from Devgad mostly arrive in the market by the third week of March, but this year, growers expect them to be ready by the second week of March. Omkar Sapre, Advisor and Chief Marketing Officer Devgad Taluka Amba Utpadak Sahakari Sanstha Maryadit — a cooperative society of hapus mango growers in Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra, said till now the crop appears to be positive.
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“Looking at the flowering of the mango trees, we are positive of an early harvest,” he said, while adding that it is still too early to make calculations. Hapus mangoes normally arrive in the market towards the end of March and continue till late May or early June. Wholesale markets of Pune and Mumbai have seen a steady increase in supply of Kerala mangoes right at the start of the season. Rohan Ursal, a trader in the city, said they are receiving 60-70 tonnes of mangoes.
“It’s just 20 days into the season for Kerala mangoes, yet the arrival has picked up steadily,” he said. Payari, Lalbaug, Badam and Totapuri are some of the varieties of mangoes that have already started arriving, he added. Ashok Hande, a commission agent operating out of Vashi wholesale market, also said that mangoes from Kerala and Tamil Nadu have started arriving earlier than usual. Vashi market has seen the arrival of 100-200 packs of mangoes on a daily basis.
Ursal said that after Kerala, mangoes arrive from Karnataka and lastly from Konkan. “Kerala mangoes are of good quality and have received a good feedback,” he said. Mango orchards in Karnataka have also reported satisfactory flowering as of now, he added. Demonetisation had lately played havoc in the agricultural sector, said Hande, adding that it might cast its shadow on the mango market too. “Most of the farm hands have to be paid in hard cash and farmers are finding it difficult to arrange the same,” he said. The farm hands, Hande said, were mostly from Nepal, and the inability to pay cash might create problems once the Hapus season starts.
Sapre too, acknowledged the labour problem, but hoped that the situation will improve during the season. “We have currency notes but mostly in higher denominations. Post March, we hope the situation will improve,” he said.
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