Prices are affordable; have gone up only by 5 percent compared to last year, say traders
By S. Kenneth Shishir
Growing larger and slowly changing from bright green to glowing yellow, the ripening mangos now dominate Mysuru markets. And every Mysurean — young and the old — is keen on titillating his/ her taste-buds.
The first crop arrived in early March, a month before the actual season, triggering brisk business. While traders were purring with delight, mango connoisseurs were wary of the pre-season arrival of the fruit as it might be due to artificial ripening, which may mean loss of taste. “Mangoes that have arrived after April 10 can be purchased with trust and are tasty as it is normal for this time of the year to relish juicy mangoes,” say traders.
Akbar Road in Mandi Mohalla is teeming with a wide variety of mangoes. And the good news is that the prices are on the lower side. “Usually, mango season begins by April. But for the past few years, business has been kicking off from the beginning of March,” said Mohammed Muzamil, a mango trader on Akbar Road.
On Akbar Road, one can find various varieties of the fruit including Rathnagiri Alphonso, Mallika, Neelam, Sakkara Katte, Baganapalli, Kesar, Dussheri, Mallika and Valaja, apart from the local varieties grown in and around Mysuru.
Mangoes arrive at Mysuru markets from Nanjangud and surrounding areas, Yelwal, Bilikere, Hura, Herale, Hullahalli, Hunsur, K.R. Nagar and H.D. Kote, Gundlupet, Chamarajanagar, Channapattana and Ramanagaram.
When the supply from the mango orchards in the State declines, traders purchase the fruit from the orchards in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Mangoes are grown on 4,435 hectares in Mysuru district.
Mohammed Muzamil, whose entire family is into this business since about 35 years told Star of Mysore that though the yield of mango has come down by about 60% due to lack of rain, yet prices are affordable at least for now.
But according to wholesalers, despite early arrival of the fruit, sales have not picked up. Mango lovers are worried about the taste of the early arrivals and prices are in control due to poor demand. “Now with April, demand will increase and supplies will not match. This is when prices will soar,” Muzamil said. When compared to this time last year, prices have gone up by about 5 percent.
He said that while most mango growers bring their produce to the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) at Bandipalya, there are traders who take mango orchards on lease from farm owners for a year. Muzamil said that he has been receiving good response from customers and he is selling about 1.5 tonnes of mangoes every day.
Speaking about ripening process, Muzamil said that the raw mangoes are filled in plastic crates and ethylene is sprayed to hasten ripening. At present, Badami variety is being sold at Rs. 50-60 per kg, Sindoora at Rs. 15-20, Rasapuri at Rs. 25-30, Valaja at Rs. 35-40; Baganapalli at Rs. 25-30, Mallika at Rs. 25-30 and Thotapuri at Rs. 10-15 per kg.
Nagavala abuzz with mango trade
Nagavala and its surrounding areas on the Mysuru-Madikeri Highway before Hunsur is bustling with activities as hundreds of pushcarts are selling luscious mangoes on both sides of the road.
Ripe mangoes are arranged like pyramids on the pushcarts to grab the attention of hundreds of vehicles that pass on the road and as soon as a vehicle stops, vendors crowd them with a handful of mangoes urging the occupants of the vehicle to have a look at their fruits. The vendors claim that the fruits are delicious and chemical-free.
However, the prices are bargained for and sometimes depend on the model of the vehicle — the swanker the vehicle the higher are the prices!
The sales, which started a month ago, gained momentum recently with a surge in the supply. Mangoes are supplied from Nagavala, Benkipura, Halebeedu, Bilikere, Bettadabeedu, Beerihundi, Hullahalli and other villages.